MCW goes up against new Sixers center JaVale McGee.
By Harry Allison
Two things were surprising about the Sixers 104-88 loss Wednesday night in Milwaukee:
Former Sixers Michael Carter-Williams in the green of a Milwaukee Bucks uniform.
The fact that he actually played after having missed six straight games with a sprained ankle.
John Henson scored 21 points, MCW had seven points and eight assists in his Milwaukee debut, and the Bucks built a big early.
Jason Richardson scored 16 for the 76ers, who lost their fifth straight game.
Carter-Williams went from one of the NBA’s worst teams to a surprising upstart vying for the playoffs. The 6-foot-6 floor general broke down defenders and used his long arms to guard on the perimeter.
The addition of Carter-Williams also moved Jerryd Bayless back to his regular role as a spark off the bench.
Bayless and Henson were instrumental reserves in a 32-point second quarter that ended with the Bucks leading 61-32 at halftime.
Philly looked lost early in its final stop on a three-game road trip before rallying late at a listless Bradley Center. Fans were lulled by a sloppy game that was never close after the opening minutes.
The Sixers couldn’t recover from a first quarter in which they shot 5 of 20 and committed nine turnovers.
Philly started a backcourt of Isaiah Canaan and Richardson in facing its former point guard, with the duo combining for eight assists — matching Carter-Williams’ total through three quarters.
Carter-Williams, returning from a six-game absence for a strained right foot, didn’t play in the fourth quarter. The Bucks acquired him at the trade deadline in part for his heady play and potential as a distributor.
He must have made coach and former NBA point guard Jason Kidd proud when he drove past taller defenders into the lane before curling a pass to the corner to Middleton. His open teammate hit a 3-pointer for a 69-44 lead with about 6:40 left in the third quarter.
Carter-Williams showed flashes of emotion. He shouted “Let’s go!” and pumped his arms after his second dunk of the first quarter.