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76ers-Bucks Preview

AP - Sports

The Philadelphia 76ers may be mired in their worst stretch of the season, but they're still atop the Atlantic Division.

Continued struggles may put that status in doubt soon.

The 76ers attempt to rebound from their most recent loss and create some breathing room in the division Monday night when they visit the struggling Milwaukee Bucks.

Philadelphia (22-16) has dropped seven of nine, but still leads the Atlantic by two games over Boston. The 76ers return home to face the Celtics on Wednesday after taking on the Bucks (14-23).

Derrick Rose proved to be too much Sunday, as the Chicago star scored 20 of his 35 points in the second half and sent the 76ers to a 96-91 loss.

"I thought when they punched us, I thought we looked around like, 'Who's going to help us?'" coach Doug Collins said.

Leading scorer Louis Williams was limited to six points in the loss, missing all seven of his field-goal attempts while dishing out seven assists. That performance came two days after he equaled his season high with 25 points while hitting 9 of 15 from the floor in a 105-83 rout of Golden State.

Williams had 17 points and six assists off the bench in a 94-82 win over Milwaukee on Jan. 16. Jrue Holiday and Andre Iguodala added 24 and 21, respectively, in that meeting.

Iguodala is coming off Sunday's 14-point effort, and he struggled in the fourth quarter by missing all four of his shots, including a potential game-tying 3 with four seconds left.

The swingman has struggled in the last two visits to Milwaukee, totaling 17 points and nine assists with the Sixers losing both. He made just 2 of 8 field goals for seven points in the most recent meeting there April 2, a 93-87 loss.

Holiday, however, had 15 points and 10 assists in that matchup, and is averaging 13.3 and 5.7 assists in the past seven meetings with the Bucks.

The 76ers won't get any sympathy from Milwaukee, which has lost nine of 11 and three straight after Saturday's 114-98 defeat at Orlando.

Even production from Brandon Jennings hasn't helped. The star point guard had 27 points and five assists Saturday, a day after scoring 34 and handing out nine assists in a 99-94 loss at Atlanta.

Jennings leads the Bucks with 18.6 points per game and 5.5 assists, but he was held to seven and two in the latest meeting with Philadelphia.

Drew Gooden is looking to bounce back from a rough performance. The center finished with seven points and five rebounds Saturday after totaling 49 and 18 over the previous two games.

Gooden was barely used in the last game against the 76ers, managing two points and two boards in just over four minutes of playing time.

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