The Bucks are 1-2 on their current four-game road trip after dropping consecutive games at Miami and Cleveland.
LeBron James had 24 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds as the Cavaliers beat Milwaukee 106-97 on Saturday. The Bucks came out flat and trailed the Cavaliers 39-28 at the end of the first period.
“We’re letting teams come out and take the first punch against us,” said Milwaukee forward Keith Van Horn. “You can’t do that, especially teams that are fighting for playoff position.”
Milwaukee is a half-game in front of New Orleans for the fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, and home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Cavaliers kept the Bucks from finding a rhythm offensively and held them to their lowest point total since the All-Star break.
“They played the night before and they were still more aggressive than we were,” Bucks coach Terry Porter said. “They came out more focused and maybe with more of a sense of urgency.”
Milwaukee is the top-scoring team in the East, averaging 97.7 points per game.
“Every game we play, we got to have,” Iverson said. “The opportunity is there for us. It’s definitely not over. We’re not out of it.”
Philadelphia’s swoon has knocked it out of the playoff picture. The Sixers are 11th in the East and trail Cleveland, Miami, Toronto and Boston by two games for the final two postseason spots.
STANDINGS (through March 6): Bucks - 3rd place (tied), 13 GB, Central Division. 76ers - 5th place, 14 GB, Atlantic Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Bucks - Redd, 22 ppg; Smith, 8.7 rpg; Ford, 6.5 apg. 76ers - Iverson, 27 ppg; Thomas, 10 rpg; Iverson and Snow, 6.8 apg.
SEASON SERIES: Bucks, 2-0.
LAST MEETING: Jan. 5; Bucks, 88-76. At Philadelphia, Desmond Mason scored 24 points to lead the Bucks. Iverson was back in the Philadelphia lineup after missing the previous 10 games with a bruised right knee. He had 18 points and seven turnovers in 37 minutes.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Bucks - 10-21 on the road; 76ers - 15-16 at home.