Sixers rout Bucks
“I’m glad to be back,” said Korver, who missed the previous four with a groin injury. “I feel like I’m in good shape. I didn’t get tired out there.”
Korver provided a spark and he combined with Andre Iguodala and Samuel Dalembert for 62 points to lead Philadelphia to a 114-99 victory over Milwaukee on Tuesday night to snap the Bucks’ five-game winning streak.
Philadelphia was resilient in snapping Milwaukee’s 6-0 mark this season at the Bradley Center, leaving just Boston (7-0) and San Antonio (8-0) as the league’s perfect teams at home.
“We understood they were undefeated at home, but we talked about before the game that they weren’t going to win every game at home,” Sixers coach Maurice Cheeks said. “At some point they were going to lose a game. We were hoping it was going to be us.”
Looking for anything to build off of with a stretch of four games in five nights, the Sixers said they came to Milwaukee with a different attitude after dropping seven of the previous eight in their worst start since 1995. But Korver acknowledged the win won’t mean too much if Philadelphia starts another losing skid on Wednesday at home against Utah.
“That was one game, we can’t keep on having these stretches of four or five bad games and then get a good game and say we’ve kind of turned a corner or we’re young or we’re learning,” Korver said. “We don’t want to keep doing all that stuff.”
For a change, everything went right for Philadelphia even after squandering a 14-point lead as Korver went 8-of-13 from the field and 4-of-5 from 3-point range to finish with 20 points in 30 minutes.
“I shot a lot of shots while I was out,” said Korver, who practiced set shots while out so he wouldn’t push off and risk further damage. “I did some crazy drills.”
Iguodala, the lone bright spot so far this season for the Sixers, had 20 points and 11 assists while Dalembert was two off his career high with 22 points to go with eight rebounds.
“Sam did a good job of driving hard to the basket, and when he does that, he gives teams trouble,” Iguodala said.
The trio also got help from their teammates. Andre Miller had 18 points, eight rebounds and nine assists, while Willie Green added 15 points for the Sixers, who shot a season-high 52.3 percent from the game.
“Hopefully, we’ll shoot the same way tomorrow,” Iguodala said. “Hopefully, it can give us a boost.”
Philadelphia’s previous three wins this season came against teams with a combined 14-27 record and the Sixers, who shot 68 percent in the first quarter, opened a 14-point lead that they quickly gave away.
Philadelphia built it back up after halftime, reaching 90-76 after a pair of free throws by Dalembert. The Sixers pushed the game into trash time after Jason Smith’s jumper made it 100-83 midway through the fourth.
Milwaukee, already holding its latest division lead since 2002 when the Bucks were 36-27 before finishing 5-14 to miss the playoffs, had won its first six games at home, including quality victories over the Mavericks and Lakers.
“We have been told for the better part of a week how great we are now,” Bucks coach Larry Krystkowiak said. “There are no easy games. There are no pushovers in this league.”
Michael Redd started slow before finishing with 17 points, Charlie Villanueva 16, Mo Williams 14 and rookie Yi Jianlian 13.
“We tried,” Villanueva said. “Guys tried.”
But the Bucks clearly weren’t prepared for the Sixers and couldn’t shoot themselves out of a hole, going 4-of-21 from 3-point range despite a 19-4 run early in the second quarter to erase Philadelphia’s first big lead.
Korver immediately asserted himself after he entered late in the first quarter. On his first offensive possession, he hit a long jumper and a few minutes later sank a 3-pointer from the top of the key. After the Bucks pulled within four at the half, the Sixers went on a 10-0 run early in the third quarter and Milwaukee never threatened again.
“We weren’t ready from the opening tip,” Krystkowiak said. “Our bench came in and gave us a good lift in the second quarter and gave us a fighting chance at halftime. Then we started the third quarter the same way.”
Notes: The Bucks have used the same starting lineup all 12 games so far this season after using 20 lineups last season. ... Bucks F Bobby Simmons was out of the lineup for personal reasons. Krystkowiak said Simmons is expected to make the trip to Atlanta. ... It was the sixth straight time the Sixers scored at least 110 points against the Bucks.