MILWAUKEE A depleted roster did not keep the Sixers from winning their 35th game of the season over an equally depleted Bucks club.
The Sixers got huge contributions from Evan Turner and Jodie Meeks as they topped Milwaukee, 90-85.
A week ago, the Bucks organization and their fans planned on Wednesdays game being the game of their season. Milwaukee figured it would have an identical record or maybe one more loss than the Sixers, but with a win over Philadelphia would be comparable to a two-game swing because it would give them the tiebreaker with just one game to play.
What a difference a week makes.
The Bucks came into Wednesday night already eliminated from the postseason and the Sixers left three key players back in Philadelphia to rest. Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young will rejoin the Sixers lineup once the postseason gets underway.
Lou Williams was in Milwaukee but did not dress.
Turning pointThe Sixers second-half defense held the Bucks to 13 points in the third quarter and 22 in the fourth quarter, sending the message they would rather win and see what the Knicks do than lose and guarantee a date with Chicago.
The Sixers and Knicks have the same record, with New York holding the tiebreaker.
Follow the leaderTurner started at the small forward position with Iguodala out. He had talked at the morning shootaround about taking a lot of shots and why not? He was playing mostly with guys who see very few minutes, if any, on for the Sixers and the Bucks were in the same predicament.
He led all players at the half with 15 points and his 20 minutes were a high as well. He finished with a career-high 29 points to go with his 13 rebounds and six assists.
Meeks had seven points at the half. He put up 13 points in the third quarter on 5-of-10 shooting. He finished with 27 points.
Brandon Jennings had 19 points to lead the Bucks.
Stat-egicThe Bucks committed 21 turnovers that equaled to 21 Sixers points.
Take a bowXavier Silas signed with the Sixers on Tuesday for the remainder of the season. He had spent training camp with the Sixers and played in their two preseason games before being cut. Silas then went on to play for the Sixers D-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. He averaged nine points and three rebounds in 39 games for the Red Claws.
On Wednesday he became the first player out of Northern Illinois University since Donald Whiteside to play in an NBA game. Whiteside did it with the Atlanta Hawks during the 1997-98 season.
He scored a corner three for his first ever NBA basket, putting the Sixers ahead 69-61 in the third quarter.
Silas played 18 minutes, scored five points and grabbed two rebounds.
Whats next?The Sixers play at Detroit Thursday night at 8 p.m. to wrap up the regular season. Win or lose against the Pistons, the Sixers are guaranteed their highest winning percentage since the 2002-03 season when Larry Browns team went 48-34 and lost in the Eastern Conference semifinals.
E-mail Dei Lynam at email@example.com.