NBA: Play-off hungry Nets topple top-seeded Bucks, while 76ers dump Bulls for 50th win

Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (left) driving to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (centre) and guard Pat Connaughton (right) during their NBA match on April 6, 2019.
Brooklyn Nets forward Joe Harris (left) driving to the basket against Milwaukee Bucks forward Khris Middleton (centre) and guard Pat Connaughton (right) during their NBA match on April 6, 2019. PHOTO: REUTERS/USA TODAY SPORTS

LOS ANGELES (AFP, REUTERS) - Joe Harris sank the go-ahead three-pointer with 84 seconds left, as the Brooklyn Nets' play-off push got a boost with a 133-128 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on Saturday (April 7) in the National Basketball Association (NBA).

The Nets used a balanced attack to beat the shorthanded Bucks as eight players scored in double figures. They also drained 19 three-pointers.

Brooklyn improved to 40-40 for the season to move into a tie with the Orlando Magic for sixth place in the Eastern Conference standings. Detroit are a half game behind at 39-40. But the Nets have tiebreakers against both the Magic and the Pistons.

D'Angelo Russell had 25 points and 10 assists, Caris LeVert scored 24 points and Jared Dudley collected 14 of his 16 points in the second half.

Milwaukee played without star Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was out with a left calf injury.

In another game, J.J. Redick made four 3-pointers while scoring 23 points to help the Philadelphia 76ers post a 116-96 victory over the hosts Chicago Bulls on Saturday night.

Joel Embiid recorded 20 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots as the 76ers (50-30) reached the 50-win mark for the second straight season.

Milwaukee have already clinched the best record in the league with a win on the road over the 76ers two nights earlier.

Eric Bledsoe had 33 points and 11 assists for Milwaukee, and Khris Middleton finished with 24 points.

Bledsoe disagreed with those who have said the Bucks have little to play for, saying the team would love to reach the 60-victory mark.

"We want to achieve it but at the same time we want to play the right way," he said. "I thought we did a great job of doing that tonight.

"It was a big game for them. So we've just got to move on."

With their win, Philadelphia moved two games ahead of the Boston Celtics with two games to play in the battle for the Eastern Conference's No. 3 seed. The Celtics hold the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Tobias Harris scored 16 points, Ben Simmons added 14, Jonah Bolden had 11 and Boban Marjanovic tallied 10 for the 76ers. Philadelphia hit 52.3 per cent of their field-goal attempts, including 9 of 27 from beyond the 3-point arc.

JaKarr Sampson scored a career-best 29 points for the Bulls, who lost for the sixth time in the past seven games. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot added 14 points.

Embiid (knee or rest) had missed 12 of the previous 21 games. He has registered a double-double in each of his past 20 appearances.

Philadelphia small forward Jimmy Butler (back) sat out for the third time in the past four games.

Chicago (22-58) were without shooting guard Zach LaVine (thigh) for the eighth straight game, small forward Otto Porter Jr. (shoulder) for the ninth consecutive contest and point guard Kris Dunn (back) for the sixth straight game. In addition, power forward Lauri Markkanen (exhaustion) was recently declared out for the season.

The Bulls shot 42.7 per cent from the field, including 8 of 25 from three-point range. Philadelphia held a 54-38 rebounding edge. The 76ers led by eight at half-time and doubled the margin over the first six minutes of the third quarter.

T.J. McConnell knocked down the jumper that gave Philadelphia a 74-58 advantage with 6:04 left in the period. Harris scored on the inside to push the margin to 20 for the first time at 80-60 with 2:54 remaining, and the Bulls never again threatened.

Embiid had 14 points and eight rebounds in the first half to help the 76ers take a 57-49 lead.

The Bulls led 39-38 after Luwawu-Cabarrot's three-pointer with 6:49 to play in the second quarter before Philadelphia scored 19 of the next 27 points. Redick capped the spurt with a four-point play to give the 76ers a 10-point advantage with 52 seconds left.