Instant Replay: Sixers 115, Bucks 107

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Instant Replay: Sixers 115, Bucks 107

BOX SCORE

The Sixers’ losing streak had reached a season-high four games heading into Friday’s game against the Milwaukee Bucks at the Wells Fargo Center.

It took five extra minutes, but the Sixers made sure the skid wouldn’t reach a fifth game.

Spencer Hawes hit an off-balance three-pointer with 1.7 seconds left in regulation to tie the game and the Sixers seized control in overtime to claim a 115-107 win over the Bucks.

Caron Butler had hit a three-pointer with 8.4 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to put Milwaukee up, 101-97. Evan Turner then put in a layup before Hawes’ incredible shot to force overtime.

Thaddeus Young missed his second straight game for personal reasons. Daniel Orton made another start in Young’s absence.

Turning point
Luke Ridnour had shot just three free throws (and made only one) this season prior to stepping to the line with the Bucks up two points and 3.9 seconds remaining in the game. He split the pair, leaving the door open for the Sixers to force overtime.

Hawes caught the in-bounds pass in the corner in front of the Bucks’ bench, turned on one foot and found the bottom of the net.

Hawes made three three-pointers in the final 1:21 of regulation.

Follow the leader
Turner scored eight points in overtime and totaled a team-high 27 points in the game.

Hawes had 25 points and 12 rebounds for his ninth double-double of the season.

Michael Carter-Williams vowed to be more aggressive at the opening tip and he followed through. Carter-Williams scored 12 points, grabbed eight rebounds, handed out 11 assists, picked up five steals and blocked a shot.

He also had five turnovers in the game and fouled out with 3.9 seconds left in regulation.

The Bucks were led in scoring by Caron Butler, who scored 38 points in 36 minutes, while shooting 13 of 22 from the field.

Stat-egic
For a second game this week, the Sixers missed double-digit free throws. They were 18 of 29 from the charity stripe.

Take a bow
Hollis Thompson scored 10 points in in seven first-half minutes. He was 5 of 6 from the floor.

Thompson finished the game with a career-high 16 points on 7 of 9 shooting in 15 minutes. He also pulled down seven rebounds.

What’s next?
The Sixers will play the Pacers on Saturday night in Indianapolis. Both teams will be playing back-to-back games with the Pacers notching a 97-82 win over the Boston Celtics on Friday to improve their record to 11-1.

Sixers 2016-17 player evaluation: Justin Anderson

Sixers 2016-17 player evaluation: Justin Anderson

Justin Anderson

Position: Small forward

Status for 2017-18: Guaranteed -- $1,579,440

Anderson in 2016-17
Anderson was the main return from the unpopular Nerlens Noel trade. The Sixers traded Noel to the Dallas Mavericks for a heavily protected first-round pick (which predictably did not convey) and the swingman Anderson.

Anderson struggled to crack the Mavs' rotation behind veterans like Chandler Parson and Wesley Matthews and their never-ending supply of point guards who also played off the ball. Anderson showed signs of being the player that was drafted 21st overall in 2015 out of Virginia while getting more run with the Sixers. In his 24-game stint with the team, Anderson averaged 8.5 points and four rebounds in 21.6 minutes a game. He also showed off a toughness and physical nature on the defensive end as well.

Signature game
Anderson saved his best for last. In the Sixers' one-point loss to the Knicks in the final game of the season, Anderson scored a career-high 26 points. He shot 9 of 10 from the field, including 3 of 4 from three. He also added three assists and three steals.

Looking ahead to 2017-18
The Sixers have an interesting situation on the wing. Robert Covington is clearly the best wing player on the roster, but he'll get pushed by Anderson and 2016 first-round pick Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot. This year's draft also has a few intriguing wing prospects.

If Anderson can shoot the way he did his final season at Virginia (45 percent from three), he'd be a perfect fit for the Sixers. He's shown he can be a tough defender on opposing wings. Covington and Anderson could be a nice tandem for the Sixers at small forward.

On Anderson
"When we look at players and we talk about, 'Do they fit how we want to play?' We talk about, first and always, defense. 'Do we feel like that guy can guard?' And I feel like he can. I think that there was a toughness in him, a physicality with his body and his mind that equal the type of spirit that we want from our young players in relation to willing, wanting to play defense first."

-- Sixers head coach Brett Brown

Looking at ex-Sixers playing in this year's NBA playoffs

Looking at ex-Sixers playing in this year's NBA playoffs

If nothing else, the Sixers are in the NBA playoffs by proxy.

No fewer than 18 former team members are (or were) in the postseason, representing 13 of the 16 playoff teams. (The only Sixer-less clubs are Boston, Memphis and Toronto.)

Here, in inverse order, are the top 10 ex-Sixers in this year's playoffs:

10. Michael Carter-Williams, Chicago
The ultimate endorsement of Sam Hinkie’s sell-high approach, MCW began his professional career with a near-quadruple-double against the Miami LeBrons in the 2013-14 opener — a game, Carter-Williams said earlier this month, that ranks "high up there" on his list of Philadelphia memories. 

“Maybe besides being drafted," he said, "that might be my favorite moment, to be sure."

He wound up Rookie of the Year, but Hinkie traded him midway through the following season, in a deal that brought the Sixers that still-to-be-cashed-in first-rounder from the Lakers. Given the way Carter-Williams' career has flat-lined, you'd have to give the former GM high marks for that transaction.

9. Mo Speights, Los Angeles Clippers
His role has expanded since Blake Griffin was injured, to the point that he was given a start in Game 4 against Utah. That's a lot to ask of Speights, who is more of an energy guy off the bench -- usually in low-pressure situations.

8. Evan Turner, Portland
Former Sixers coach Doug Collins was doing a Blazers-Warriors game the other night for ESPN, and he managed to say some nice things about Turner, the second overall pick in 2010 -- how tough he is, how he can handle the ball and create his own shot, etc. Not once did Collins mention Derrick Favors. Nice job by him.

7. Luc Mbah a Moute, Clippers
He locked up Jazz star Gordon Hayward in Games 1 and 2 of their series, then was force-fed a 40-burger by Hayward in Game 3 (a game the Clippers nonetheless won). And last time out, Mbah a Moute was powerless to stop the rejuvenated Joe Johnson down the stretch. So it goes, when you’re a defensive stopper in a league where no one can truly be stopped. The Cameroonian will forever be remembered as the guy who discovered Joel Embiid seven years ago in a gym in their homeland. 

"Obviously when I saw him he was still very raw, 'til now," Mbah a Moute said in January. "All the compliments to him, to put in the work. … He's a grown man now."

Meniscus willing, Embiid will continue to measure up.

6. Ersan Ilyasova, Atlanta
When the Hawks were in town last month, Sixers coach Brett Brown praised Ilyasova for his "ruthless" preparation, and everyone seems to agree he is the consummate pro. A native of Turkey, who also has U.S. citizenship, he possesses a wider worldview than your average NBA player. Take, for example, his stance on the on-again, off-again travel ban proposed by the current presidential administration: "It seems, like, ridiculous. The United States, it's all immigrants. It's not like the culture was created by the people who were here 1,000 years before. We all come from Europe."

5. Thaddeus Young, Indiana
Swept out of the playoffs by LeBron and Co. on Sunday, he was here as recently as three years ago. Seems far longer. And when asked earlier this month if games in the Wells Fargo Center still stir something within him, he said, "I'm beyond that. … It's always good to see friends and the people I spent seven years with here, but I just take it as another game."

4. Kyle Korver, Cleveland
Have jumper, will travel. He is 35 now, and 14 years removed from the 2003 draft, when the Nets took him in the second round and immediately sold him to the Sixers. Korver, fanatical about his offseason conditioning, led the league in three-point accuracy this season, the third time in the last four years he has done so. He is also tied for fifth all-time in made threes, with 2,049. The thought of him lurking at the arc while LeBron invades the lane is surely not a comforting one for opponents.

3. Lou Williams, Houston
Lou gets buckets. Always has and probably always will, up to the point where he's terrorizing some over-50 league. A second-round pick out of a Georgia high school in 2005, Williams -- who is only 30 -- has never been a high-percentage shooter (41.7 lifetime), but he is a high-volume scorer (having rung up over 10,000 points despite starting just 90 of 782 games in his career). He is on his fifth team, and the fire-when-ready Rockets would appear to be a perfect fit. 

2. Andre Iguodala, Golden State
He is now what everyone here always thought he should be -- a complementary player on a great team. He has been part of the Warriors' closing quintet -- their so-called "Death Lineup" -- for four years now, getting stops, setting up the stars, making an occasional shot. During the regular season he led the league in assist/turnover ratio (4.6-to-1), nailed a career-high 52.8 percent of his attempts from the floor, shot the three-ball better than he has in the last five seasons (36.2) and sank free throws at his best clip in the last seven (70.6).

1. JaVale McGee, Golden State
Folks will little note, nor long remember his six-game stint with the Sixers in 2014-15 (and really, why should they?), but Shaquille O'Neal's close personal friend has resurrected his career with the Warriors – mostly by hanging out near the rim and dunking a bunch of alley-oops. Nice work if you can get it. If nothing else, though, he has given the Dubs' future playoff foes something else to think about. They have an entirely different look and feel when he's on the floor, as was obvious during their sweep of Portland.

Others receiving votes: Lavoy Allen, Indiana; Matt Barnes, Golden State; Isaiah Canaan, Chicago; Dewayne Dedmon, San Antonio; Jerami Grant, Oklahoma City; Spencer Hawes, Milwaukee; Shelvin Mack, Utah; Jason Smith, Washington.

Special citations: Joel Anthony, San Antonio; and Moe Harkless, Portland, who were Sixers on paper only -- Anthony for a hot minute in February 2016, before a trade from Houston was voided, and Harkless for just over a month after the 2012 draft. He was then part of the ill-fated Andrew Bynum trade.

And not to be forgotten: Washington coach Scott Brooks played here back in the day, too.

Oh, and one more thing: Yet another ex-Sixer, Willie Green, is a Warriors player-development assistant. He gets to sit behind the bench and watch that every night.