MILWAUKEE – Facing a potentially short and hectic transition from the regular season to the playoffs, the Philadelphia 76ers managed to get a win while Doug Collins rested a few of his key players.
Evan Turner scored a career-high 29 points and the 76ers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 90-85 in a playoff tune-up Wednesday night.
Jodie Meeks added 27 points for the 76ers.
"That's a good win for us," Collins said. "I'm proud of them. We have a competitiveness about us. Regardless of who plays, guys play to win."
The 76ers rested key players such as Elton Brand, Andre Iguodala, Lou Williams and Thaddeus Young.
Turner, who had 13 rebounds and six assists, said playing 40-plus minutes was something of a shock to his system.
"It feels good but when you haven't done it in a while, you're killing your stomach a little bit, you're tired," Turner said. "I was just happy we could come out here and get a win."
Brandon Jennings scored 19 points for the Bucks, who were playing short-handed in their home finale. Philadelphia eliminated Milwaukee from playoff contention with a victory over New Jersey on Monday.
Jennings' right eye was pink after he got poked during Monday's game, but he still wanted to play.
"I just wanted to play because I just love the game, at the end of the day," Jennings said. "It doesn't matter to me. I get up to play basketball. It's my job. I have to still be a professional and finish the season."
The Bucks played only nine players Wednesday — and Jennings was the only regular starter on the court. Monta Ellis, Drew Gooden, Ersan Ilyasova, Carlos Delfino and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute all sat out.
Then Milwaukee lost forward Ekpe Udoh to knee soreness during the game.
Bucks coach Scott Skiles wasn't sure who the team might have ready for Thursday's season finale in Boston.
"Do you know, math-wise, what I could get for a 10-day (contract) if I played tomorrow night?," Skiles asked, jokingly.
Leading by four points in the fourth quarter, the 76ers went on an 8-2 run.
But the Bucks rallied, cutting the lead to three on a 3-pointer by Jennings. Turner responded with a jumper as the shot clock expired on the 76ers' next possession, and Philadelphia led 86-81 with 3:09 remaining.
The Bucks had one last rally, cutting the lead to three on a jumper by Beno Udrih with 38.1 seconds left. After a miss by the 76ers, the Bucks couldn't find an open 3-point shot and Shaun Livingston missed a layup.
"The ball wasn't moving as freely as normally we would move the ball," Skiles said. "Obviously, we've got different lineups out there. We've got guys that haven't played very much. You can't be too harsh on the guys about that."
Although the playoff schedule has not been finalized, Collins said before Wednesday's game that he figures the 76ers will face the Chicago Bulls, the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference, in the first round — and he thinks they'll likely open in Chicago on Saturday.
If that's the case, Collins says the 76ers will fly straight to Chicago after their regular-season finale at Detroit on Thursday and hold a practice Friday; he told players to pack their bags for four days when they left Philadelphia.
Although there still was a slight chance going into Wednesday's game that the 76ers could face Miami in the first round instead of Chicago, Collins said he and his assistants are spending any extra time they have scouting Chicago.
"The one thing I've learned is don't start jockeying," Collins said. "Just win and play who you're supposed to play. Sometimes you can fool yourself and try to be too slick. We're going to try to win the games and then play whoever is in front of us."
Notes: Xavier Silas, who signed with the 76ers on Tuesday after playing for their D-League affiliate, had five points. "This is something I've been dreaming about a long time," he said. "Once you wrap it around your head enough times, it feels real." ... Philadelphia's Sam Young left the game after injuring his eye. ... Jennings gave a brief speech thanking fans before the game. Milwaukee finishes the regular season at Boston on Thursday.