NBA

Brown says 76ers built for playoffs after Embiid leads statement win over Bucks

By Sports Desk December 25, 2019

Brett Brown believes the Philadelphia 76ers are "designed for the playoffs" after celebrating Christmas with a dominant win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

The 76ers spread plenty of festive cheer on Christmas Day courtesy of a 121-109 victory against Giannis Antetokounmpo and the high-flying Bucks in Philadelphia.

Embiid starred for the 76ers, posting 31 points and 11 rebounds as he upstaged reigning MVP Antetokounmpo at Wells Fargo Center, where Philadelphia led by as many as 29 points.

The Bucks (27-5) rolled into town as the league leaders and the team to beat, and the 76ers (23-10) passed the test.

"I think this team is designed for the playoffs," said head coach Brown, who brought in Al Horford and Josh Richardson in the offseason after Jimmy Butler's move to the Miami Heat.

"I believe that the road we have travelled so far has been erratic at times. Whether it's the infrequency of our five players playing together, whether it's navigating through some zone, at times some lost leads.

"It's like you're under a microscope trying to move this team forward and trying to get it whole. I think that the landing spot is exciting."

Embiid stepped up in Philadelphia's first home Christmas game in 31 years – the All-Star shooting three threes to go with as many assists and two blocks.

"A lot of people have kind of forgotten who I am," said Embiid, who is eyeing the playoffs after the 76ers lost in the Eastern Conference semi-finals last season. "When I'm needed, I'm going to show up."

"You are playing the best in the league," Embiid added. "We came out and showed that we are right there. We still have a long way to go, obviously, but we are right there and we are going to keep on getting better."

It was a tough night for Bucks star Antetokounmpo, who was eight of 27 from the floor and 0 of seven from three-point range for 18 points and 14 rebounds.

"They just played harder than us, better than us," Antetokounmpo said. "There are going to be some nights that you don't make shots. But you got to keep making plays, you got to keep believing in yourselves.

"You cannot back down. I wasn't having my best night tonight, but at the end of the day my team-mates want me to keep shooting the ball. I want to keep shooting the ball."

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    Thursday's results

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    Utah Jazz 129-118 New Orleans Pelicans
    New York Knicks 119-104 Golden State Warriors

     

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