6 observations from Sixers-Bucks

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6 observations from Sixers-Bucks

Spencer Hawes was on the verge of losing his three-pointer streak until his finally got a clean look with 1:21 left in regulation. He got another one 54 seconds later to help the Sixers climb to within one point.

Hawes saved his most theatrical and heroic shot for last, though.

With 1.7 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Hawes hit an off-balance three-pointer while jumping off the wrong foot. With that, Hawes put his six-shooters into his invisible holsters and got ready for overtime.

Here are a handful of the theatrics from the Sixers’ entertaining 115-107 overtime victory (see Instant Replay) over the Bucks on Friday night:

1. Hawes gets another double-double
Mark it as nine double-doubles for big man Hawes this season. Only Chris Paul, Kevin Love and Blake Griffin have more double-doubles than Hawes this season.

Hawes scored 25 points with 12 rebounds and hit a three-pointer late in the fourth quarter to extend his streak to 14 straight games with at least one three-pointer. The three-pointer moved Hawes into sole possession of third place for threes made by seven-footers.

Hawes had a couple of dunks, including one on the business end of an alley-oop from Evan Turner, who led the Sixers with 27 points.

2. Another close call for MCW
The Sixers nearly were the first team in the NBA with two triple-doubles this season. Michael Carter-Williams came close to another triple-double in his second game back from a foot injury.

MCW had 12 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds. He also had five steals.

The most impressive part of Carter-Williams’ near triple-double? He only took eight shots.

Tony Wroten got his first career triple-double in the overtime victory over Houston last week.

3. The second unit
With 2:57 remaining in the first quarter, Sixers head coach Brett Brown went with a lineup of Wroten, Elliot Williams, Hollis Thompson, Brandon Davies and Lavoy Allen. By the time Brown took that group out with 7:34 to go in the half, the Sixers had a 12-point lead that got as high as 15.

Thompson scored 10 of his career-high 16 points during that stretch with Allen pouring in six. Wroten dished out six assists.

Over the final 7:34 of the first half, the Sixers’ 12-point lead shrunk to just two points by halftime even though they shot 60 percent in the half.

4. Costly turnovers
Though the Sixers shot 60 percent from the field during the first half and hammered the Bucks on the boards by a two-to-one margin, the game remained close throughout the second half. How so? The Sixers committed 15 turnovers in the first half and a season-worst 26 for the game.

The team’s starting five had 21 turnovers, which is likely the reason the second unit was so effective when closing the first quarter -- the reserves didn’t turn it over.

The Bucks didn’t need to worry about the rebounding margin or the Sixers’ shooting percentage when the ball was handed over to them.

5. Traffic jam
The Sixers’ perimeter players had little difficulty in driving to the basket against the Bucks. In fact, Turner and Carter-Williams got the ball into the paint whenever they wanted.

The problem was finishing.

As soon as the Sixers dribbled or passed the ball into the paint, Milwaukee’s defense swooped in for a block or a hard foul. It didn’t dissuade the Sixers, though. The team had 52 points in the paint and 18 at the foul line.

6. If they’re free …
Thanks to the drives to the hoop, the Sixers got 29 free throws against the Bucks. They shot just 62 percent.

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

Best of NBA: Rockets overcome Russell Westbrook's 7th straight triple-double

OKLAHOMA CITY -- James Harden scored 21 points, and the Houston Rockets overcame Russell Westbrook's seventh consecutive triple-double to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 102-99 on Friday night.

Harden also had 12 assists and nine rebounds to help the Rockets win their fifth straight. Houston withstood Harden's 6-for-23 shooting effort.

Westbrook finished with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. He has the longest triple-double streak since Michael Jordan had seven straight in 1989. The most in a row is nine by Philadelphia's Wilt Chamberlain in March 1968.

It was Westbrook's 12th triple-double this season and the 49th of his career. He is the NBA's active leader in the category and ranks sixth all-time.

The Thunder had won the previous six games during Westbrook's triple-double binge (see full story).

James moves into 9th on scoring list as Cavs top Heat
CLEVELAND -- LeBron James scored 27 points to move into ninth place on the NBA scoring list, and the Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Miami Heat 114-84 on Friday night.

James passed Elvin Hayes on a driving layup with 6:58 remaining and has 27,315 career points. The four-time MVP was removed about a minute later and received a loud ovation from the Cleveland crowd.

Kevin Love, a game-time decision because of back spasms, scored a team-high 28 points and had 15 rebounds for the Cavaliers. He missed the morning shootaround but was in the lineup after warming up on the court about an hour before tip-off.

Kyrie Irving added 23 points for the Cavs, who have won three straight after losing three in a row.

Derrick Williams scored 17 points to lead the short-handed Heat, who have lost four straight (see full story). 

Schroder has career-high 33, Hawks rally past Bucks
MILWAUKEE -- Dennis Schroder scored a career-high 33 points and the Atlanta Hawks rallied from 20 down in the second half to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks 114-110 on Friday night.

Paul Millsap had 23 points and 14 rebounds for Atlanta. Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 18.

The Hawks, who ended a seven-game losing streak Wednesday with a win over Miami, trailed by 20 at halftime. A 40-point third quarter put them back in the game.

Jabari Parker scored 27 for Milwaukee. Giannis Antetokounmpo, in foul trouble throughout the game, had 14.

Atlanta pulled ahead 105-103 on Kyle Korver's jumper with 3:15 remaining, giving the Hawks their first lead since early in the game (see full story). 

Joel Embiid 'shoots the ball with the touch of like Steph Curry'

Joel Embiid 'shoots the ball with the touch of like Steph Curry'

NEW ORLEANS -- Of all the players Joel Embiid could be compared to, a similarity between a 7-foot-2, 270-something-pound center and a 6-foot-3, 190-pound point guard wouldn’t seem like a match.

That’s exactly what Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry sees, however, when looking at Embiid and reigning MVP Steph Curry.

“He’s different than anybody that’s been in this league in a long, long time,” Gentry said Thursday before the Sixers win over the Pelicans. “He’s a tremendous talent, he really is. I’ve never seen a guy that size, and with that kind of strength, that’s got such a soft touch. He shoots the ball with the touch of like Steph Curry. It’s so soft when it leaves his hand.”

Curry is shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 40.1 percent from three. Embiid is 45.8 percent from the floor is 44.2 percent from long range.

Embiid flashed a big smile and paused to react when hearing of Gentry’s praise. He had been feeling hard on himself after going 0 for 5 beyond the arc against the Pelicans (see story).

“Steph is probably one of the best shooters in the league right now," Embiid said. "So that compliment means a lot."