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Miller leads 76ers past Bucks

Jan 8, 2009 - 6:18 AM By J.R. Radcliffe PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

MILWAUKEE (Ticker) -- Philadelphia 76ers guard Andre Miller knows he doesn't have a reputation as a marksman. but that did not stop him from burying a key long-range jumper on Wednesday.

Miller, who shoots lower than 21 percent from beyond the arc for his career, hit a 3-pointer in the final minute to help lift the 76ers to a 110-105 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Miller is known more for running the offense rather than taking it into his won hands, and he was counting on Michael Redd to defend him as such.

"The scouting report he has is that I'm not going to shoot the 3-pointer," Miller said. "I've never really shot the 3-pointer since I've been in the league. I don't take a lot of them, but hopefully the ones I take and make are meaningful ones."

Miller's three gave his team a 107-103 advantage mere seconds after Luke Ridnour hit a 3-pointer of his own to pull the Bucks within one.

"I felt like I should get it to Andre (Iguodala) and let him make a play, and he deferred to me," Miller said. "I really didn't know what to do, whether to attack the basket or pull up, but I knew I was going to take a shot."

Miller finished with a game-high 28 points, nine rebounds and six assists, including a 10-for-11 effort from the free throw line.

The win gave the Sixers (15-20) added momentum after a 104-96 win over Houston at the Wachovia Center one night earlier.

"We've played well on the road and just couldn't finish out some games, and now the last two nights, we're seeing some positive results," 76ers coach Tony DiLeo said. "They're all confidence builders and good for the morale."

The Bucks fell to 1-5 in games without starting center Andrew Bogut, who missed his third straight game with back spasms. As was the case in a win Monday over Toronto, Charlie Villanueva filled in with a big scoring performance, but this time it wasn't enough.

Philadelphia surged in front with under four minutes to play in the game, 99-96, when Marreese Speights converted on a beautiful pass from Miller, and Thaddeus Young took a steal the length of the floor for a layup.

Speights dunked home a basket that gave the Sixers a 104-100 lead with exactly one minute to play.

Down 108-105 with 10 seconds remaining, the Bucks had a chance to tie the game but Charlie Bell's contested effort fell well short.

Royal Ivey, who spent the 2007-08 season with Milwaukee and finished with a trio of 3-pointers for the 76ers, defended Bell on the play.

"He went straight up, I held my ground and the ref is standing right there - he wasn't going to call the foul," Ivey said. "It was no contest. I held my ground. I knew what he was trying to do, and I just played it smart."

Iguodala, who finished with 20 points, iced the outcome with two subsequent free throws.

Richard Jefferson led the Bucks with 27 points, including a basket that made the score 107-105 in the final minute. Villanueva, coming off a 25-point effort Monday, scored 18 of his 26 in a furious second quarter.

Michael Redd scored 20 points for the Bucks, who have alternated wins and losses over their past eight games.

"They scored a lot of points - too many points," Redd said. "It's uncharacteristic of our team. Tomorrow, we go back to the drawing board and try to get better. We have to figure out what we did wrong."

Milwaukee also held a 10-point lead against Philadelphia when the teams met at the Wachovia Center on December 17, but Philly's 21-4 run into the fourth quarter helped turn the tables on a game in which they trailed all night long. Philly ultimately won, 93-88.

This time, the Bucks were without their big man, who is averaging a double-double this season.

"You can't make any excuses," Jefferson said. "They were playing without Elton Brand, Toronto was playing without Jermaine O'Neal. This is a league where you're going to play without people. The team that wins the most games when they're short-handed will be the team that is where they need to be at the end of the season."

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