Spencer Hawes calls the 76ers' defensive struggles a tendency of the young teams he's been on.

"We get trapped early after we get off to a good start scoring," said the seventh-year NBA veteran, who played his first three seasons with the Sacramento Kings. "Everybody starts feeling good and loses track of making sure they don't do the same thing."

That's exactly what happened in Saturday night's 116-106 setback to Milwaukee at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The Sixers rank last in the NBA in scoring defense, yielding 111.7 points per game.

On Saturday, the teams played through four ties and four lead changes before the Bucks took the lead for good with 4 minutes, 59 seconds left in the first quarter. Milwaukee went on to lead by as many as 19 points and shot 52.4 percent from the field.

The Sixers (8-20) pulled within seven points (106-99) with 1:06 remaining. But that was as close as they got the rest of the way.

"My concern will always be our defense," coach Brett Brown said. "We can't get fouled; 106 points is enough to win. It was just erratic energy, erratic focus.

"We made a little bit of a run late. But we could have crept back into significantly low double-digits with some stops. We just couldn't get over the hump."

Injury update

Swingman Evan Turner has right knee soreness. He injured his knee during Saturday's game. Turner is expected to play in the Sixers' next game, at Phoenix on Saturday.

kpompey@phillynews.com

@PompeyOnSixers

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