The Milwaukee Bucks will have to win out and get a whole lot of help if they hope to make the NBA playoffs.
Milwaukee can start handling its own business on Monday by earning its seventh straight win over the Toronto Raptors. A loss tonight by the Bucks or a win by Philadelphia in New Jersey will officially eliminate Milwaukee from the Eastern Conference postseason picture.
The Bucks kept their slim playoff hopes alive on Saturday when Brandon Jennings scored 30 points in a 106-95 win over the New Jersey Nets in Brew City.
Milwaukee could have been eliminated from contention with a setback after the No. 8 76ers beat Indiana in overtime Saturday. Instead, it remained three games behind Philadelphia with three to play.
Ersan Ilyasova added 17 points and 17 rebounds and Drew Gooden scored 16 for the Bucks, who snapped a three-game losing streak with only their second win in the last seven.
"I thought we were very active around the rim," Bucks head coach Scott Skiles said.
One of the Milwaukee's remaining three games is against the Sixers on Wednesday at Bradley Center. The Bucks will then finish the regular season at Boston while Philadelphia will close things out at Detroit.
"We can't lose any sleep over what (the Sixers) do," Skiles said. "We created the position we're in and we are responsible for the position we're in."
The Raptors, meanwhile, have dropped three straight, including Sunday's 76-73 loss at Detroit. DeMar DeRozan paced the Raptors with 16 points and Linas Kleiza chipped in 12 as Toronto fell for the seventh time in nine games.
The Pistons went just 2-for-4 from the line over the final 20 seconds, opening the door for the Dinos, but Alan Anderson missed a go-ahead three-point try and Kleiza was off the mark on a game-tying three with under a second to play as Detroit held on for the victory.
"We were right there. We had a lot of opportunities," said Kleiza. "I wasn't able to make the final shot to put it to overtime, but we had chances and that's all you can ask for."
The Raptors, of course, have already shut down star forward Andrea Bargnani for the season with a strained left calf and will likely play their final two games without saturating point guard Jose Calderon, who has been sidelined since suffering a cut above his right eye during a loss in Philadelphia on April 11.
Toronto has dropped six in a row to the Bucks and 10 of 12 meetings. It has also lost five in a row at Milwaukee.