- The Washington Times - Friday, May 25, 2001

BUCKS 92, 76ERS 78

PHILADELPHIA Apparently Ray Allen got the message.

Following Milwaukee's loss to the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference finals, Bucks coach George Karl attacked everything from his team's heart to the officiating. Most observers felt Karl's remarks were a motivational ploy.

Mission accomplished.

Allen smoked the 76ers for a career playoff high 38 points, and the Bucks played a much more aggressive game to even the series at 1-1 with a 92-78 rout last night before a sellout crowd of 20,988 at First Union Center.

Matched up for most of the night against league MVP Allen Iverson, Allen was the best player in the building, and it wasn't even close. Allen was deadly accurate from 3-point range, connecting on seven of 11 shots from behind the line. For the game Allen shot 15-for-24.

Iverson was horrible. Clearly bothered by his bruised buttocks, Iverson was just 5-for-26 from the field for 16 points. Aaron McKie registered 21 points to lead the Sixers, and Dikembe Mutombo finished with 18 points and 20 rebounds.

The Bucks, who opened the series with a pitiful 39 percent shooting effort, were successful on slightly better than 50 percent of their shots (40-for-79).

The Bucks evened the series despite making just two free throws the entire game. The 76ers, on the other hand, were 24-for-30 from the line. The 76ers made just 34.7 percent (26 for 75) of their shots from the floor.

Milwaukee was far more aggressive after being manhandled on the boards in Game 1. Also, the Bucks didn't get the offensive production they're used to out of players like Glenn Robinson. Robinson scored 16 points on 7-for-15 shooting. Sam Cassell added 14 points and 11 assists.

The Bucks, who turned the basketball over just eight times last night, went at the Sixers right from the start. In the first quarter, the Bucks were 15-for-23 from the field and led 31-16 at the end of the quarter. All but one of those baskets were scored by the trio of Allen, Robinson and Cassell. Allen was the hottest with 13 points and went 3-for-4 from 3-point range.

Meanwhile, the 76ers' shooting touch abandoned them. With Iverson making just two of six from the field, the 76ers shot 35 percent from the field.

The Bucks took their largest lead of the half at 40-19 on a jumper from Allen, but Philadelphia ran off 12 straight points to pull within 40-31. Moments later, following a basket from Scott Williams, the Sixers cut the Milwaukee lead to 42-35 on a basket from Eric Snow and a pair of free throws. This was part of span of almost six minutes in which the Bucks missed 12 straight field goals.

But Allen, who connected on eight of 11 field goals in the half, added two more including his fourth 3-pointer to that point to help the Bucks to a 49-37 advantage at the half.

Conversely, the 76ers looked ragged from the start. They shot a horrid 30.8 percent from the floor in the half, and Iverson was the biggest offender, knocking down just two of 14 attempts. Had it not been for McKie's 14 points, the 76ers would have been looking at a much more sizable deficit.

Milwaukee picked up where it left off at the start of the third quarter. Robinson opened the half with a 3-pointer and nailed a jumper, and a basket by Cassell gave the Bucks their largest lead of the game 56-37 with just two minutes into the half.

Once again, though, McKie kept the game from getting away from the 76ers. With Iverson clearly having his problems offensively and the rest of the team struggling, McKie pumped in seven more points in the quarter, which ended with the Sixers still down by 12 points.

The 76ers never challenged in the fourth quarter.

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