The Wizards are in fifth place in the East, two games ahead of Milwaukee and Indiana, which are tied for the sixth spot.
The Wizards and Bucks, though, could find themselves in less favorable positions if they don’t start winning again soon. Washington has dropped three straight, while Milwaukee has lost four in a row.
Washington lost to Philadelphia 105-97 on Monday, allowing the 76ers to close within three games of the fifth spot.
“It’s disappointing, but we still have five games left to get the job done,” Washington guard Antonio Daniels said. “We’re not going to put our heads down.”
“We rely on Gil and Antawn so much,” Wizards coach Eddie Jordan said. “We have to have other guys step up to take a shot. Guys have to understand you can’t do it with two guys. You’ve got to have confidence to take a shot.”
Wizards forward Caron Butler missed his third straight game with a sprained right thumb.
Washington finishes the three-game road trip at Chicago on Friday. The Wizards’ last five games are against teams either in the playoffs or fighting for a spot.
Milwaukee has fallen three games below .500 for the first time this season. Three of the four losses have come by double digits, including Sunday’s 95-83 loss to New Jersey.
“We’re not playing well right now,” said guard Charlie Bell, who started in place of T.J. Ford. “The only thing that’s saving us is Indiana, Philly, Chicago—those teams aren’t playing that well either. We’ve still got a chance to turn it around. The time is now.”
Ford came off the bench to score 19 points, but the Bucks shot only 37.5 percent and were outrebounded 56-39 by the Nets. It was the highest rebound total allowed by Milwaukee this season.
“We’re not getting it done,” Ford said.
Bell is averaging 15.5 points, 4.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds in his last 12 games, including a triple-double against Phoenix on March 28, while shooting 50.4 percent from the field.
Before the hot stretch, Bell—who played seven games for Phoenix and Dallas in 2001-02 before joining with Milwaukee this season—averaged 6.7 points and 18.8 minutes in 42 games.
The loss to New Jersey snapped a six-game home winning streak for the Bucks, who after Wednesday’s contest play the New York Knicks and Atlanta before closing the season with games against Detroit and another matchup with Washington.
Milwaukee has won 11 of its last 13 at home against Washington.