The Cavaliers have lost three in a row and five of six overall, including a 103-98 setback at Philadelphia on Friday, leaving them tied with the 76ers for seventh place in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.
Cleveland lost a potential tiebreaker with Philadelphia after losing all three meetings with the Sixers. The New Jersey Nets are 1 1/2 games behind the Cavaliers and Sixers.
The Cavaliers, who appeared to be a lock for their first playoff appearance since 1998, are 4-7 since Brendan Malone replaced fired coach Paul Silas on March 21.
“We’re still in the playoffs right now, so we just have to keep fighting,” said star forward LeBron James, who had 37 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists Friday.
James, who was 11-for-11 from the foul line, is averaging 31 points over his last eight games. The reigning Rookie of the Year is averaging 26.5 points for the season.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas, Cleveland’s second-leading scorer (17.2) and rebounder (8.7), missed Friday’s game after dislocating his right ring finger in a loss to New Jersey on Tuesday.
Five players scored in double figures for the Cavs as Drew Gooden had 24 points and 12 rebounds.
“I feel like if we played like we played tonight, we can win a lot of ballgames,” James added.
This is the fourth and final meeting between Cleveland and Milwaukee this season. The home team has won each of the last eight meetings in the series.
James is averaging 32.5 points, 7.5 rebounds, 6.0 assists and two steals against the Bucks this season.
Michael Redd has carried the Bucks, averaging 27.7 points on 52 percent (30-of-58) shooting against the Cavs.
Redd had 17 points Friday as Milwaukee beat Charlotte 93-75. The former All-Star guard missed a 103-97 loss at Boston on Wednesday because of left Achilles’ tendinitis.
Milwaukee will miss the playoffs for the second time in seven seasons. The Bucks made the playoffs with a 41-41 record last season, losing to eventual champion Detroit in the first round.