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Allen leaves with knee tendinitis, but Bucks cruise

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Even though it's early in the season, the
constant losing is taking a toll on the Philadelphia 76ers.

Glenn Robinson matched his season-high with 34 points and Sam
Cassell scored a season-high 29, including 25 in the second half,
as the Milwaukee Bucks dealt the 76ers their seventh straight loss,
96-80 Friday night.

"There's only two ways we can go from here, up or down,"
Philadelphia's Aaron McKie said of the team's longest losing skid
since 1996-97 when they dropped 13 in a row. "It's not coach's
decision. Ultimately, it's up to us to find a way to get it
together."

The game was the first of the season between the two teams that
met in the Eastern Conference finals last season. The Sixers won
that series in seven games but they are far from the same squad.

"How can anyone say we're good right now?" asked 76ers coach
Larry Brown. "Every game I see the same things happening and don't
see them changing."

Milwaukee coach George Karl sees a difference in the Sixers'
defensive play.

"Their defense is not as talented as last year," Karl said.
"(Former Sixers) Tyrone Hill and George Lynch were really tough
defenders and hustlers and really made us work. Last year, they had
a way of beating us with their defense."

Hill and Lynch were traded in the offseason, with Matt Harpring
and Derrick Coleman taking their spots.

Tim Thomas added 16 points and Darvin Ham tied a career-high
with 13 rebounds for the Bucks, who have won three of their last
four.

"I was really looking forward to this game," said Ham,
remembering his poor play in the seventh game of last year's
conference finals. "I knew I had to do something tonight. I feel
vindicated."

Allen Iverson was just 7-of-22 for 17 points while McKie and
Coleman each scored 16 for the 76ers.

Eric Snow returned to the Sixers' lineup after offseason surgery
on his right ankle and surgery on his left thumb after he injured
it during the preseason. He played 31 minutes and had 14 points and
five assists.

Also returning from injury was Coleman, who missed three games
with a hyperextended left knee.

A fast-break dunk by Thomas with 10:40 left in the fourth
quarter gave Milwaukee a 72-63 lead. The Bucks extended their lead
to 17 on a jumper by Cassell that made it 86-69 with 5:26 left.

In the third quarter, Cassell, who also had 11 assists, had 16
of Milwaukee's 24 points and Robinson scored the other eight as the
Bucks opened a 68-62 lead entering the fourth.

After Robinson had the first six Bucks' points of the third
quarter, Cassell scored 14 straight, capped by a 3-pointer that
gave Milwaukee its biggest lead, 66-59.

Robinson had 17 points in the first half and Milwaukee held a
one-point halftime lead.

Game notes
Recording artist Pink was at the game shooting a commercial
for the NBA based on her song "Let's Get the Party Started."
...Ray Allen left the game in the third quarter with left knee
tendinitis and did not return. He finished with seven points and
three assists. ...Three Sixers recorded double-digit rebounds,
(Coleman 13, Matt Harpring 12 and Dikembe Mutombo 10).

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