Sixers-Bucks: What you need to know

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Sixers-Bucks: What you need to know

Sixers vs. Bucks -- 8 p.m., CSN
BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee

Last meeting
The Bucks have taken the first two meetings with the Sixers and if they win a third, they take the season series. If the Sixers and Bucks are tied at the end of the season, head-to-head matchups are the first tiebreaker.

On Jan. 22, Ersan Ilyasova scored 27 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead the Bucks to a 110-102 victory. The Sixers battled back from an early 10-point deficit thanks to 23 points from Evan Turner, 21 from Spencer Hawes and 20 from Nick Young.

The Sixers go into the game trailing the Bucks by three games for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

“It’s really a two-game swing either way,” Hawes said. “We have to realize that and can’t be looking forward to the [All-Star] break.”

Records
Sixers: 22-28 (fourth place in Atlantic Division; ninth place in the Eastern Conference)

Bucks: 25-25 (third place in Central Division; eighth place in the Eastern Conference)

Previous games
The Sixers wrapped up a 5-3 homestand by getting drubbed by the Los Angeles Clippers, 107-90, Monday night. The Sixers trailed by as many as 32 points in the fourth quarter and were victims to a bevy of highlight-reel dunks from Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan.

“It was the most impressive performance against us I’ve seen all year,” Sixers head coach Doug Collins said.

The Bucks missed a chance to gain ground in the standings by losing to Washington, 102-90, on Monday night. Monta Ellis scored 24 points with eight assists and seven rebounds, but his backcourt mate Brandon Jennings shot just 3 for 17.

Who's hot
Nick Young scored 29 points on 10-for-18 shooting with four three-pointers in the loss to the Clippers. Over his last 10 games, Young is averaging 16.1 points and 1.6 steals per game. Interestingly, Young’s 10-game averages and 29-point game came on the heels of a pair of games in which the guard shot 6 for 21, including 0 for 7 from three-point range.

Headed into his third game of his first 10-day contract, newcomer Jeremy Pargo has proved a spark off the bench while dropping in 22 points on 8-for-22 shooting. Pargo also got to the foul line seven times in the last two games, which is more than starters Lavoy Allen, Turner, Jrue Holiday and Hawes … combined.

In his last four games, ex-Sixer Sam Dalembert has three double-doubles with 42 rebounds and 65 points. Thirty-five of those points came in the Feb. 5 loss to Denver.

The more you know …
A game after pulling down a career-high 22 rebounds on Saturday night, Allen did not get his first rebound until the waning moments of the third quarter of Monday’s loss to the Clippers. Allen finished the game with two rebounds and narrowly missed becoming the first player in NBA history to get 20-plus rebounds in one game and zero in the next. … Turner is one of six players in the NBA averaging 13 points, six rebounds and four assists per game. The others? LeBron James, Joakim Noah, Kevin Durant, Paul Pierce and Nicolas Batum. … Turner has not made a three-pointer in his last seven games. He’s 0 for 7 over that stretch. … In the last four games, Holiday is shooting just 36.5 percent. … Young has 43 turnovers in 45 games this season. … Holiday and Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook are the only players in the NBA averaging 18-plus points and 8-plus assists per game. The only Sixer to finish a season averaging 18-plus points and 8-plus assists is Wilt Chamberlain (1967-68).

Probable starters
Sixers (last 10 games)
Jrue Holiday (18.1 ppg, 8.3 apg )
Nick Young (16.1 ppg, 1.2 spg)
Spencer Hawes (12 ppg, 8.2 rpg)
Lavoy Allen (6.7 ppg, 7 rpg)
Evan Turner (13.4 ppg, 6.8 rpg)

Bucks (last 10 games)
Monta Ellis (16.1 ppg, 5.4 apg)
Brandon Jennings (17.5 ppg, 7.2 apg)
Sam Dalembert (11.2 ppg, 8.4 rpg)
Ersan Ilyasova (16.7 ppg, 6.9 rpg)
Mike Dunleavy (10.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg)

Injuries
Andrew Bynum (bone bruises) is out indefinitely.

Jason Richardson (knee) is out for the season.

Thad Young (hamstring) is out for two more weeks.

For the Bucks, Larry Sanders (hip/back) missed Monday’s game and is doubtful for Wednesday.

Luc Mbah a Moute (leg) left Monday’s game after 14 minutes of action.

Report: Sixers 'will take a hard look' at Jrue Holiday in free agency

Report: Sixers 'will take a hard look' at Jrue Holiday in free agency

Has The Process come full circle?

The Sixers "will take a hard look" at point guard Jrue Holiday in free agency, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe

Holiday, of course, was the Sixers' starting PG from 2009-13, before he was traded on draft night by then-GM Sam Hinkie for Nerlens Noel and a future first-round pick (which became Elfrid Payton, who was traded for Dario Saric).

In four seasons since, Holiday has averaged 15.3 points, 3.4 rebounds, 6.8 assists and 1.4 steals for the Pelicans. He's fought injury and missed 122 games since joining New Orleans.

The Pelicans have Anthony Davis but little else. They're going to need to make some tough decisions moving forward and one will be with Holiday.

As Lowe points out, there aren't many teams in need of a point guard — he lists the Sixers, Kings, Knicks and maybe the Magic as players for a PG in free agency.

"[Holiday] fits what [the Sixers] need around Ben Simmons, and the hilariousness of Philly bringing Holiday back after flipping him to start The Process is irresistible," Lowe writes.

Holiday has never been a great three-point shooter but he's been decent from long-range his entire career, topping out at 39 percent and sitting at 36.8 percent over eight NBA seasons.

He's coming off a four-year, $41 million contract, and although he has a lengthy injury history, he'll still command a nice-sized contract in free agency, especially with the cap expected to increase again.

Sixers merchandise sales on the rise along with win total

Sixers merchandise sales on the rise along with win total

Between recent wins and Joel Embiid’s All-Star push, fans are buying their Sixers gear.

According to Fanatics.com, a sports apparel website partnered with the four major sports, the Sixers rank fourth among all NBA teams in total merchandise sales over the past seven days. The Warriors, Cavaliers and Bulls are ahead of them.

Joel Embiid was the fifth-best selling player over that period. His popularity has risen during his enthusiastic All-Star campaign, which included celebrity shoutouts and an outpour of social media activity. Embiid is now up to 553,000 Twitter followers.

The Sixers have ranked in the league’s top 10 of merchandise sales since the beginning of the 2016-17 season. They hold the largest year-over-year increase during that time frame in the NBA this season.

In September, Ben Simmons ranked in the top 10 of NBA players in merchandise sales since draft night.

Sales from the Sixers' and NBA's official online stores are included in these statistics.