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Basketball / Sports

Bucks top 76ers

PHILADELPHIA -- The two worst teams in the league met Monday night, and Milwaukee Bucks coach Larry Drew was expecting a battle.

Instead he got a blowout, this time with his team on top.

A strong effort from the Bucks' second unit led to a 130-110 romp over the Philadelphia 76ers as Milwaukee set season highs for points, points in a half (73), points in a quarter (43) and field goal percentage (57.1 percent).

It was also the Bucks' largest victory margin of the season, eclipsing a 15-point decision over the Los Angeles Lakers.

Reserve guard O.J. Mayo set a torrid pace, sinking 7 of 9 three-pointers and finishing with 25 points to lead seven Bucks in double figures.

And the Bucks suddenly might have a worthy challenger for the league's worst record.

The 76ers (15-42) lost their 11th game in a row and are just three games behind the Bucks (11-45) in the loss column in the chase for draft lottery position.

Milwaukee torched the 76ers with a 43-point second quarter, hitting 18 of 28 shots and 5 of 7 from three-point range in the period while rolling to a 73-44 halftime lead.

Brandon Knight punctuated the outburst with a one-handed dunk after taking an over-the-head pass from Mayo on the break.

"They brought some energy and they brought some intensity," Drew said of the second unit consisting of Mayo, Ramon Sessions, John Henson, Jeff Adrien and Giannis Antetokounmpo.

"O.J. was making shots and John got the ball down low and capitalized. I thought Jeff and John were stabilizers in the paint area."

Henson had 12 points, five rebounds and four assists, and Adrien pulled down a game-high 10 rebounds in just 24 minutes.

"We wanted to take advantage of our size, for once," Henson said. "Once we got it in the post and started moving it around and got everybody flying around, we broke the game open."

Henson said he enjoys playing with Adrien, acquired along with Sessions in the trade deadline deal with Charlotte last week.

"I think me and Jeff complement each other. He's big, strong, and I'm rangy, wiry," Henson said. "It's a good 1-2 punch for us right now."

Ersan Ilyasova added 20 points, while Sessions had 16 and Knight and Khris Middleton 15 apiece. Antetokounmpo posted a spectacular block on fellow rookie Michael Carter-Williams and had a strong line of 13 points, six rebounds, four assists and four blocks.

Mayo was 4 of 4 from three-point range in the first half and had his best game since returning from a 10-game layoff due to illness and conditioning issues.

"Guys did a great job of finding me and I had the easy part of knocking it down," Mayo said. "I'll keep working, keep getting two-a-days and staying in the gym.

"That's what got me to this point and I'm going to continue working."

Veteran forward Thaddeus Young led the 76ers with 28 points and a career-high seven assists, and Carter-Williams had 20 points but also committed five turnovers.

But Philadelphia clearly showed the effects of losing starters Evan Turner and Spencer Hawes in trade-deadline deals last week.

"Even given the Sixers' situation as far as the trades, we didn't feel it was going to be one of these type games," Drew said. "They've got a bunch of scrappy guys.

"But in our situation it's good to get a win any way we can get it."

The Bucks drilled 12 of 20 three-pointers and 48 of 84 shots overall and reached the 130-point mark for the first time since April 1, 2013, when they had 131 points vs. Charlotte.

"That's a lot," Drew said, "and to be perfectly honest that's not us.

"We can't come out and win on a consistent basis thinking we're going to put up those type numbers. We're just not a 130-point team.

"Tonight was a good night. No, that wasn't us, but I'll take it."

(c)2014 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Distributed by MCT Information Services

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