Regular Season Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series starts 12/14

Game 1: Friday, December 14th
Game 2: Saturday, February 2nd
Game 3: Sunday, April 7th
Game 4: Tuesday, April 9th

Bucks 87

(39-37, 16-22 away)

76ers 89

(40-36, 21-18 home)

    12:30 PM ET, April 7, 2002

    Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, PA

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIL 26 25 19 1787
    PHI 25 23 21 2089

    Top Performers

    Mil: R. Allen 25 Pts, 4 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl

    Phi: E. Snow 15 Pts, 4 Reb, 14 Ast, 2 Stl

    Sixers maintain hold on East playoff berth

    PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Derrick McKey hasn't forgotten how to score or defend. He did enough of each in the final minute Sunday to solidify Philadelphia's hold on a playoff berth.

    Derrick McKey

    The Sixers got critical help off the bench from the likes of Derrick McKey, who scored 10 points.

    McKey hit a corner jumper with 45 seconds left and forced Ray Allen into an airball on the final play of the game as the 76ers defeated Milwaukee 89-87, the Bucks' ninth consecutive road loss.

    "I can't do what I used to do unless I'm telling a story about how good I was," quipped the 35-year-old McKey, a 14-year veteran who was signed by the Sixers in mid-January.

    McKey shot 5-for-6 from the field and scored a season-high 10 points. Aaron McKie scored 15, including nine in the fourth quarter, as Philadelphia's reserves contributed 41 points.

    Eric Snow had 15 points and a season-high 14 assists as the 76ers moved out of a tie with Milwaukee for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. The teams play again Tuesday at Milwaukee.

    "I said to the guys when we huddled up: 'This is the biggest game of the year,"' Snow said.

    In their eighth game since Allen Iverson broke his left hand, the 76ers sent the Bucks to their fifth loss in six games and took a 2-1 lead over Milwaukee in the season series.

    After its rematch with the Bucks, Philadelphia finishes the season with two games against Washington and one each against Orlando, Chicago and Indiana.

    A loss would have left the Sixers with just a one-game lead over the eighth-place team in the conference.

    "This team, honestly, needed this desperately," coach Larry Brown said. "Look at the last five or six games with Allen out. Every game has been similar to this one and we haven't had much to show for it."

    Ray Allen made a surprise return to the starting lineup for the Bucks and finished with 25 points, and Sam Cassell added 19. Glenn Robinson made his first four shots but missed his final nine, finishing with nine points.

    Neither team led by more than seven in the physical game, a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals.

    "This team is not ready. It's obvious we're living off last year," Bucks forward Anthony Mason said. "Other teams are making adjustments, and this team is not smart enough to realize that."

    Before the game, Bucks coach George Karl said he will continue to bring Allen off the bench for two or three more games while limiting the guard's minutes because of a knee injury. But Karl changed his mind a few minutes before tipoff, and Allen got the start and made his first three shots -- two of them 3-pointers.

    Without Iverson, the Sixers looked to control the tempo and work the ball into the paint. Of their 48 first-half points, 28 came from inside.

    Mason gave Milwaukee a 74-69 lead with 9:35 remaining in the fourth, but the Bucks struggled to score after that and didn't make their next field goal until 4:50 remained. In the meantime, McKie scored five consecutive points and McKey hit a corner jumper to give the 76ers an 80-76 lead with 5:27 left.

    Milwaukee answered with a 5-0 run, but McKie scored in traffic with 3 minutes left to give Philadelphia an 84-83 lead.

    A pair of foul shots by Derrick Coleman made it 86-83 before Allen missed twice from outside. After each team missed a 3, the Sixers ran the shot clock all the way down before McKey hit a 15-footer from the corner for a five-point lead with 45 seconds left.

    "I'm pretty sure I wasn't the guy who was supposed to shoot it," McKey said. "But I had a better look than anyone else was going to get."

    Allen cut it to three with a driving layup, and McKie missed a runner from the lane with 15 seconds left. That allowed Milwaukee a chance to play for the tie or go for a 2-pointer, and the Bucks chose the latter as Tim Thomas drove around Matt Harpring for a layup with 6.5 seconds left.

    Snow was fouled with 5.5 seconds remaining and made only one of two, leaving the score 89-87. The Bucks inbounded from midcourt and got the ball to Allen, who shot an airball with a second left while being defended by McKey.

    "I just tried to get a hand up," the 6-foot-10 McKey said. "It may have altered his shot a little."

    Game notes

    Iverson is scheduled to have his cast removed Thursday. He declined to speak to reporters at halftime, but told NBC that he would like to play in the final game of the regular season at Indiana. "He's not playing until the doctors say he's ready, no matter what Allen says," Brown said. ... Coleman flagrantly fouled Allen early in the third quarter after Allen stole the ball from him underneath the basket. Milwaukee's Ervin Johnson was called for a flagrant foul later in the quarter while defending Dikembe Mutombo. ... Harpring had blood running down his face after being fouled by Darvin Ham late in the fourth. He needed two stitches to close a cut.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 87 89
    FGM-FGA 34-76 (.447) 36-74 (.486)
    3PM-3PA 8-25 (.320) 0-8 (.000)
    FTM-FTA 11-14 (.786) 17-21 (.810)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 14-43 7-34
    Assists 20 26
    Turnovers 14 8
    Steals 3 7
    Blocks 4 3
    Fast Break Points 4 7
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (2/1) 21 (2/1)

    Top Performers

    Ray Allen Allen
    Points: 25
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Eric Snow Snow
    Points: 15
    Reb: 4
    Ast: 14
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0