The Milwaukee Bucks will try to make up some ground in seeding for the Eastern Conference playoffs on Wednesday night when they visit the Washington Wizards.
The Bucks are eighth in the East and it's a comfortable eighth. They are eight games ahead of the Toronto Raptors for the final spot in the postseason, but only 1 1/2 out of the sixth seed, currently held by the Boston Celtics.
Milwaukee let a good chance to make up ground slide by on Tuesday. They fell at home to a hot Dallas Mavericks squad, 115-108.
"We've got to get on the road now and take care of business," interim coach Jim Boylan said after the loss.
The setback ended a two-game winning streak for the Bucks. They still have won six of their last eight, but Tuesday's loss stung.
The Bucks held a seven-point lead after the first quarters, but found themselves down eight at the half. Their deficit ballooned to 11 after three quarters and it was too much to overcome.
Monta Ellis was sensational as he's been the whole month of March. He scored 32 points against the Mavs and has gone over 20 in all six games this month.
Mike Dunleavy, who started in place of Luc Mbah a Moute, who sat with turf toe, chipped in 18 and J.J. Redick scored 17 off the bench. Larry Sanders tallied 13 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks and Epke Udoh netted 14.
It was an off night for Brandon Jennings. He only managed four points in the loss.
Point-guard play was not the cause of loss for the Wizards on Tuesday night. John Wall had season-highs with 27 points and 14 assists in a 95-90 setback in Cleveland to the Cavaliers.
The Wizards flew out of the gate with a 33-20 first-quarter advantage, but lost the middle two quarters, 56-32. Washington cut it to three late, but Cleveland hung on for the win.
"It's tough to lose this game when you know you had a good start," said Wall. "They out-hustled us and got loose balls."
Nene and Emeka Okafor both had double-doubles and Martell Webster scored 17 points. Including Wall, those four accounted for 77 points. The other eight Wizards who saw action combined for 13.
The Wizards have lost three of their last four, but return to Washington on Wednesday for the start of a three-game homestand. Washington has won two in straight in the nation's capital.
The Wizards and Bucks split the two meetings this season with each winning in the other's building. Milwaukee has won six of its last nine in Washington.