MILWAUKEE -- So much for a much-anticipated road victory.
The 76ers were supposed to build on Friday's win over the Brooklyn Nets. They were also supposed to end their road woes against dismal Milwaukee at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
Or so we thought.
The Sixers were outhustled and outplayed by the NBA's worst team and eventually lost, 116-106, Saturday night.
The setback denied the Sixers (8-20) an opportunity to win back-to-back games for the first time since opening the season with three consecutive wins. It also marked their 12th consecutive road loss after winning their first road game at Washington on Nov. 1.
The Sixers could look back at losing to the Bucks (6-21) as a huge missed opportunity. That's because they will be hard-pressed to steal any wins during their five-game post-Christmas road trip, with stops at Phoenix, the Los Angeles Lakers, Denver, Sacramento, and Portland.
But on this night they had a tough time stopping forwards Khris Middleton and Caron Butler.
Middleton made 11 of 15 shots to finish with a team-high 27 points. Butler added 22 points and 11 rebounds.
Thaddeus Young finished with a game-high 30 points and 10 rebounds. Center Spencer Hawes (25 points, 11 rebounds) and point guard Michael Carter-Williams (19 points, 12 assists) also posted double-doubles for the Sixers.
But Evan Turner had a forgettable performance.
He scored 10 points on 2-for-15 shooting before fouling out in the closing seconds one night after scoring a game-high 29.
There was a thought that the Sixers might be able to have their way with the Bucks. After all, Milwaukee has the league's worst record. It also headed into the game carrying a five-game losing streak.
A lot of that had to do with Milwaukee's injuries. Centers Larry Sanders (thumb), John Hensen (left knee), and Zaza Pachulia (right foot); forward Carlos Delfino (foot); and guard Gary Neal (foot) were all sidelined with injuries.
But the Bucks were aided by the return of Butler, who had missed the previous 12 games with a sore left knee.
The 6-foot-7, 217-pound swingman didn't show any signs of rust. He scored six of the Bucks' first 10 points en route to 13 points at intermission.
Butler's final bucket of that half -- a three-pointer -- gave Milwaukee a 52-42 advantage with 3 minutes, 2 seconds left before intermission. That was the start of an 8-0 run that gave the Bucks a commanding, 57-42 advantage 56 seconds later.
The Sixers pulled within two points three times in the third quarter. The last time came on a pair of foul shots by Turner to make it a 63-61 game with 8:44 left in the quarter.
But the Bucks responded with a 15-4 run to build a 13-point cushion (78-65) with 5:46 to go in the third.
Milwaukee maintained its 13-point lead for the rest of the quarter, taking an 85-72 advantage into the fourth.
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