PLAYER GRADES: Philadelphia 76ers 130, Milwaukee Bucks 125

Joel Embiid | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images).
Joel Embiid | Philadelphia 76ers (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images). /

The Philadelphia 76ers made a big statement to the Eastern Conference as they left Milwaukee with a 130-125 victory over the Bucks.

A superstar showdown between Joel Embiid and Giannis Antetokuonmpo is what took place Sunday afternoon at Fiserv Forum.

At several points during the game, the international MVP candidates traded blows in what was a potential postseason preview. The Greek Freak scored a career high 52 points while racking 16 boards and seven assists. Embiid put up an impressive stat line of his own with 40 points and 15 boards.

The Philadelphia 76ers got off to an early lead and never looked back. They are 4-0 since Embiid returned to the lineup last Sunday. Philadelphia is currently the third seed in the Eastern Conference, just one game ahead of the Indiana Pacers. The Sixers are 6-1 when the full starting five plays.

The bench still remains a concern as once again, the load was carried by the starting five. This is a problem that will need to be solved in some fashion before the playoffs begin.

The Bucks were also shorthanded as 2017 Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon is expected to miss 6-8 weeks with a plantar fascia tear.

A. <strong>36  mins | 40 pts | 15 reb | 6 ast | 3 stls | 1 blk | 1 TO | 15-31 FG | 4-13 3PT| 6-7 FT | 4 PF | -6 |</strong><p>The Process led the Sixers in their road victory Sunday afternoon. Embiid was dominant in the paint and came up clutch when the Sixers needed it. He scored 18 of his 40 in the fourth quarter. It is not ideal for a big man of his caliber to shoot 13 three-point shots in a game, but his fourth and last make was the dagger that put the Sixers up seven points with under 30 seconds to go. Had he committed to attacking the rim or hit on a few more outside shots, he would get an A+.</p>. Center. Philadelphia 76ers. JOEL EMBIID

<strong>34 mins | 27 pts | 6 reb | 3 ast | 3 stl | 0 blk | 2 TO | 8-16 FG | 2-2 3PT| 9-13 FT | 5 PF | +6 |</strong><p><a rel=. Shooting guard. Philadelphia 76ers. JIMMY BUTLER. A

Shooting guard. Philadelphia 76ers. JJ REDICK. B-. <strong>33 mins | 19 pts | 0 reb | 0 ast | 1 stl | 1 blk | 1 TO | 7-10 FG | 4-4 3PT| 1-2 FT | 3 PF | -2 |</strong><p>Redick provided the shooting that makes him such a valuable piece to this Sixers squad. The shooting guard knocked down all four of his three-point attempts and the Sixers are at their best when he has a hot hand. The only reason Redick’s grade is not higher is because hd did not record a single rebound or assist.</p>

C+. <strong>35 mins | 8 pts | 9 reb | 9 ast | 0 stl | 0 blk | 3 TO | 4-8 FG | 0-0 3PT| 0-2 FT | 3 PF | -6 |</strong><p><a rel=. Point guard. Philadelphia 76ers. BEN SIMMONS

C. <strong>34 mins | 12 pts | 7 reb | 4 ast | 1 stl | 0 blk | 0 TO | 4-7 FG | 1-2 3PT| 3-4 FT | 0 PF | +5 | </strong><p><a rel=. Power forward. Philadelphia 76ers. TOBIAS HARRIS

Although the Sixers won this contest by five points, it never felt as close as the score. They were in control for most of it, despite a few sloppy turnovers, missed defensive assignments, and open misses from the Bucks.

James Ennis had two three-point shots but was a non-factor for the rest of the game. T.J. McConnell hit on a couple of his signature elbow jumpers.

A scary moment occurred in the third quarter when Giannis Antetokuonmpo landed on Embiid’s foot and rolled his ankle. He lied on the floor for a minute as the Milwaukee crowd gasped watching their superstar rile in pain. He would stand up, tie his shoe, and finish the game strong.

Mike Scott fell about three rows into the crowd after charging for a loose ball. He took a sip of a fan’s beverage and hustled back on defense.

It was that type of game for the Sixers.

Grading potential outcomes of the 2018-19 season. dark. Next

The Sixers will head to Charlotte on Tuesday night before another key matchup at home against the Boston Celtics on Wednesday.