Moses Malone had 31 points and 13 rebounds and Andrew Toney had 23 points and 11 assists today as the Philadelphia 76ers rallied to defeat the Milwaukee Bucks, 121-112, to sweep their second-round Eastern Conference semifinal playoff series in four games.
The 76ers will play the winner of the Boston-Detroit series.
For Milwaukee, Sidney Moncrief and Paul Pressey each scored 25 points while Alton Lister had 14 rebounds.
"We didn't dominate them. They were four tough games," said Malone, who made 11 of 23 shots and nine of 13 free throws. "All three of their centers showed that they could play when things were really physical under (the boards)."
Toney also said the series wasn't easy. "We just seemed to play better at times. We were a little sluggish today, but we know what we have to do to win and we did it."
Milwaukee, after a 12-3 scoring run, led, 71-63, with 4:53 to play in the third quarter. But Philadelphia then outscored the Bucks by 20-6 for an 83-77 lead.
The 76ers' lead grew to 97-87 with 7:01 remaining. Milwaukee never got closer than five points in the final quarter, the last time at 113-108 with 1:41 left. Led by Malone, who had 17 fourth-quarter points, the 76ers scored eight of the game's final 12 points.
In the last quarter, Toney made all six of his shots and had six assists.
In the first period, Philadelphia, getting four points each from Toney and Clint Richardson, built a 20-14 lead with 4:20 to play. At the end of the period, Philadelphia led, 30-24.
The Bucks trailed, 38-32, with 7:56 left in the first half when Terry Cummings scored 10 straight points as the Bucks went ahead, 42-40. Julius Erving's basket gave Philadelphia a 52-51 halftime lead. Philadelphia's Maurice Cheeks had 15 points in the half.
"Mo (Cheeks) kept us in the game and allowed us to stay close until we got our fast break going," Philadelphia Coach Billy Cunningham said.
"I tried to pick us up because I knew we weren't ourselves. The key was our good defense, which got us back in the game," Cheeks said.
Milwaukee Coach Don Nelson said he was surprised that the Bucks failed to win a game in the series.
"Philadelphia is a sleeping giant right now. They woke up somewhere along the line in the Washington series and they really came to life," he said.