Instant Replay: Bucks 110, Sixers 102

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Instant Replay: Bucks 110, Sixers 102

BOX SCORE

MILWAUKEE The weather in Milwaukee Monday was 6 degrees Fahrenheit, with the wind blowing 13 mph.

The Sixers were playing inside the Bradley Center, but their shooting was ice cold to start the game; they missed 13 of their first 15 field goal attempts and, despite a comeback, fell to the Milwaukee Bucks, 110-102.

They would fall behind by as many as 14 but in the second half but kept chipping away, closing to within four with 6:47 to play on a Thaddeus Young steal and dunk.

Mike Dunleavy hit a three coming out of a timeout to stretch that lead to seven and their lead was never truly in jeopardy again, in large part because the Sixers committed four of their 16 turnovers in the fourth quarter.

The Sixers fell to 17-25. The Bucks improved to 22-18.

Turning point
The first quarter unfortunately was the turning point. Milwaukee shot 57 percent; the Sixers shot 30 percent and trailed by 10 entering the second quarter.

Twelve of the Bucks 28 points came in the paint, and they outscored the Sixers 9-0 on the break.

Follow the leaders
Ersan Ilyasova had 17 points and 10 rebounds with 8:34 still to play in the third quarter. He averages 9.4 points. He finished with a team high 27 points.

Brandon Jennings scored 33 against the Sixers early in the season when the Bucks won in Philadelphia, 105-96. Jennings dropped 25 points on the Sixers and Monta Ellis added 18.

Evan Turner had 23 points. Spencer Hawes and Nick Young, as they were Monday night, were solid off the bench scoring 21 and 20 respectively. Hawes also grabbed 12 rebounds.

Stat-egic:
Jrue Holiday tied his season low with three made field goals, and for just the second time this season he failed to score in double digits. He had 12 assists and eight turnovers. Holiday was 3 for 12 from the floor in what was his worst game of the season.

Take a bow
Milwaukees defense held the Sixers to 43 percent shooting. The Sixers shot 50 from behind the arc (8 for 16), but they committed 16 turnovers leading to 22 points. They also failed to get to the free throw line. The Sixers were 10 for 13 from the line. The Bucks hit 21 of 33 free throws.

Whats next
The Sixers have three days off before taking on the New York Knicks Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center. The Knicks lead the Atlantic Division by one game over Brooklyn. New York beat the Sixers in a home and home earlier this season.

At Madison Square Garden Carmelo Anthony led his team in scoring with 27 points; J.R. Smith scored 20 and New York forced the Sixers into 18 turnovers. Holiday also scored 27 points, but the Sixers lost starting guard Jason Richardson less then two minutes into the game to an ankle sprain.

In the second meeting the next night the Knicks won, 110-88. Carmelo Antony led his team in scoring with 21 points. Six other Knicks scored in double figures as well.

The Sixers shot just 34 percent. Holiday was their leading scorer with 17 points.

E-mail Dei Lynam at dlynam@comcastsportsnet.com

Unlike 2 years ago, Dario Saric feels ready for the NBA

Unlike 2 years ago, Dario Saric feels ready for the NBA

Dario Saric wanted to come to the NBA. He just didn’t feel ready when he was drafted in 2014.

Saric spent the past two years furthering his basketball career in Europe after being selected 12th by the Magic and traded to the Sixers. Now 22, he is confident in his decision to start his NBA career in Philadelphia. 

“I grew up like a person first. After that, I grew up like a player to play against the best players in the world,” Saric said Monday at Sixers media day. “I think now I feel I’m ready. I feel I can give something to this team.”

Basketball itself wasn’t the issue — Saric has been playing professionally since the age of 15. He has competed against top European competition, won numerous accolades, and was a member of the Croatian Olympic team this summer. 

Saric knew he could play in the NBA, but there is so much more involved in it for him. Joining the Sixers meant leaving Europe, moving to a new place to play in a new league, all at the young age of 20. 

“After NBA draft, I wasn’t ready to come here,” the forward said. “Not like a basketball player, like a man. I wasn’t ready because to take a big step, to go out of the family, to go to another country. For me it was so hard. ... I decide[d] during last season I would come here, I would try to play with the best players in the world.”

From season to season, the anticipation of Saric’s arrival grew. The Sixers' front office and staff kept in frequent contact. Saric often was in communication with head coach Brett Brown, former general manager Sam Hinkie and current president of basketball operations Bryan Colangelo. Assistant director of player development Chris Babcock also made trips to Istanbul to spend time with Saric.

All the while, Sixers fans eagerly awaited his decision. When he agreed to sign in July, he was taken aback by the reception. 

“I was surprised, I didn’t expect it to be something like that,” Saric said. “I know people waited for me like two years to come here. I know there’s, I can say, some kind of pressure on me.” 

With that pressure, Saric hopes to bring a winning mentality from his successes overseas. Colangelo has been impressed by the sampling he has observed of Saric during informal preseason team scrimmages. He grouped Saric with 6-foot-10 rookie Ben Simmons when discussing the Sixers’ bigs with diverse skillsets.

“What I see is a versatile player, a skilled big man that can do a number of things,” Colangelo said. “When you’re talking about 6-9, 6-10 and 6-11 players that are skilled and adept at ball handling, passing, driving, kicking out, thinking team-first — it seems both players — I think that’s a tremendous asset to have.” 

Saric understands, though, there will be a transition period as he adapts to the NBA. In the short time he has been around the Sixers, he has already noticed differences in the style of play. 

“What I can see is faster,” he said. “Everybody said the first couple of months will be like that. After that you will catch that rhythm, or that speed for your eyes and you will be faster. That’s the first thing I recognized, that I saw.”

Saric also noted the difference in format of the seasons, pointing out the tightly-packed 82-game NBA schedule. With so many adjustments, he plans to lean on his network of European players in the league, past and present. This summer, he received advice from former Sixer Toni Kukoc when he worked on the Croation National Team coaching staff. Even the smallest suggestion like stretching after practice is resonating with Saric.

“Toni, he told me for sure it will be hard for you when you come, but you must try to keep work[ing] day-by-day,” Saric said. 

For the player who once didn't feel ready for the NBA, Saric quickly has been pleased with his decision to play for the Sixers this season. 

“Everything is better than what I expect,” he said. 

Best quotes from Sixers 2016 media day

Best quotes from Sixers 2016 media day

CAMDEN, N.J. — Sixers president Bryan Colangelo and all 20 players on the team's training camp roster spoke at the organization's new state-of-the-art training complex during media day.

Here are some of the best quotes from Monday's session:

Colangelo on rebuilding process being like building new training complex
"This is the start of a new season, a new moment for the franchise. We've talked a lot about the growth and building process. We're looking forward, not back. A lot of this reminds me of, it's not dissimilar to a construction site on a skyscraper or a real estate project. There's been a lot of work being done to the infrastructure here for several months and in this case several years. We're on the verge of establishing things above grade, things that hopefully move this organization forward. We're looking ahead with a lot of excitement and a lot of anticipation on where it might go."

Elton Brand on competition among the big men
"I expect a bloodbath. I expect a battle. These guys are big, they're talented and they all have different skill sets. They are good. They can really play. Joel [Embiid] being healthy,[Jahlil Okafor], of course Nerlens [Noel] and Dario [Saric]. That's the fives. Then the fours, the number one pick, he's going to play. Jerami Grant took a leap. It's a lot of talent, so it's going to be fun to watch and be a part of."

Embiid on watching so much live and taped basketball while injured
"I've learned a lot. I'm really someone who loves watching basketball, who loves learning. To this day I still watch my college stuff because I love watching myself. I'll watch myself probably every day. Then I watch some of the other guys. I watch everybody's game. I just love being around basketball and watching games. NBA games or college games. Obviously NBA games are different than college. I can't really watch college basketball anymore because it just drives me crazy."

Okafor on whether his eyes light up when a guard switches onto him
"My eyes always light up no matter who's guarding me. I feel like I can do whatever I want. No matter if the person is smaller or bigger, it doesn't matter to me."

Ben Simmons on being considered a leader even though he's a rookie
"Definitely. I believe I'm a leader no matter what it is. Whether I'm playing Scrabble, Monopoly, Pictionary, whatever the game is. I try to lead whenever the occasion arises."

Brand on being in shape to play
"The offseason, I don't go on the basketball court as much as I did when I knew I'd be on a roster or trying to be on a roster. I just try to stay in cool dad shape. Riding my bike. I want my clothes to fit. I don't want to be like some NBA players that retire and play a long time and don't look as good. I was just working on riding my bike, jogging, swimming and then I'll hit the court."

Sergio Rodriguez on coming back to the NBA after a six-year absence
"It's been 10 years [since my NBA debut]. I've changed many things in my basketball skills. Also personal, the way that I act now, the way that I treat my body now. The way that I think is way different than it was when I first came into the league. For me it's a big challenge to come here at 30 years old and try to get an opportunity with the Sixers."

T.J. McConnell on letting Gerald Henderson have his No. 12 jersey
"I got a text from Scott Rego our equipment guy saying that Gerald's dad wore 12 when he played here and he would like to do the same and would I be willing to give up the number. So I just gave it up and I think one was the only other point-guard-looking number so I just took it. Nothing was added to the McConnell fund. All I got was a firm handshake, that's about it."