The Sixers played their first game of the season Thursday against the Bucks where they fell 118-117. The team played tough, and even took a second-half lead, but it wasn’t enough to beat the clutchness of Damian Lillard.

Maxey and Harris put up efficient outings 

It seems like Tyrese Maxey is heading toward another massive leap this year, one that’s all-star-worthy. Every year, he shows more of his ability to score at any given moment, especially with his quickness and elite jump shooting. He scored 31 points on 10-for-22 shooting, and was the main reason why the Sixers were able to stay in the game.Tobias Harris got off to a good start under Nick Nurse, who wants him to be more of a scorer this season. He was able to create good looks for himself against Milwaukee’s stellar defense. His importance to the success of this team continued to shine through Thursday night. Harris finished the night with an efficient 20 points on 8-for-9 shooting. 

Embiid’s slow but still effective start

The reigning MVP was initially passive, missed the shots he typically makes, and struggled at the free-throw line for much of the game. Embiid eventually got things going in the end, but struggled down the stretch scoring only 4 points. He scored 24 points on 9-for-21 shooting committing as many turnovers as he had rebounds (7). Embiid and the Sixers are not concerned about his performance as it’s part of his ramping up process. It typically takes him a bit to get back into the swing of things, and Embiid only played one preseason game.

Oubre Jr.’s impactful first night and Springer minutes

One of the main standouts from this game was the impact Kelly Oubre Jr. had the second he stepped on the floor. He scored 10 points on 3-for-3 shooting in the first quarter. Oubre ended the night with 27 points on 9-for-11 shooting, including 5-for-6 from beyond the arc. His ability to provide a scoring lift off the bench for the second unit kept the game within reach. Fans got their wish Thursday night as Jaden Springer seems to have made it into the rotation, for now.  He checked in during the second quarter and immediately had an impact on the defensive end. He blocked Khris Middleton and shortly after, he denied Damian Lillard at the rim.

Lillard shines in Bucks debut

Damian Lillard continued to prove why the Bucks are now a heavy favorite to win the championship. Lillard set a Bucks franchise record for points in a debut finishing with 39. He scored 14 of the Bucks’ final 16 points down the stretch. Lillard draws so much attention from defenses that he opens the floor for the rest of the team, which hurt the Sixers in the end. The Bucks will be tough to beat this season with the addition of Lillard and all he can do offensively.

The Sixers look to improve on their promising performance against Nick Nurse’s former team, the Raptors, on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. EST.

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

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