The Bucks will need a fifth consecutive home victory over the Raptors to accomplish that Monday night.
After going 46-36 to make the playoffs for the first time in four seasons in 2009-10, Milwaukee (33-47) could not overcome various injuries to key players and a season’s worth of poor shooting in 2010-11.
Salmons, joined second-year guard Brandon Jennings(notes), center Andrew Bogut(notes), swingman Carlos Delfino(notes) and forward Drew Gooden(notes) as some of the Bucks’ top players who missed at least nine games due to injury this season. That collective absence likely contributed to the club ranking last in the league in scoring (91.6 points per game) and field-goal percentage (43.0 percent).
Bogut will wind up missing the final four games with a sore right elbow.
Gooden, however, is healthy and averaging 13.7 points with 7.9 rebounds the last seven games. He recorded his first career triple-double with 15 points, 13 boards and 13 assists in a 108-101 win over Cleveland on Saturday.
“I think this gives (me) something to see what I can bring to the game, to this team, to help them win,” Gooden said.
Despite their overall offensive struggles, the Bucks have averaged 99.3 points and shot 47.2 percent while winning two of three.
“We definitely want to continue to play hard,” Salmons told the Bucks’ official website after he scored 32 points Saturday. “These games don’t mean anything as far as making it to the playoffs but we still have to have some pride and play hard.”
Milwaukee has not lacked intensity averaging 104.0 points and shooting 50.2 percent in three wins over the Raptors (22-58) this season. Jennings scored 25 points and Gooden added 22 with 11 rebounds in a 104-98 win at Toronto on March 30.
The Bucks, who have not swept a season series from the Raptors since 2001-02, have won seven of nine overall versus Toronto. Milwaukee has averaged 107.3 points during a four-game home streak against the Raptors.
With the Raptors set to miss the playoffs for a third straight season, Bayless has seen more time in the final stretch. The second-year guard has averaged 23.2 points on 51.7 percent shooting the last six games.
After dressing just nine players Sunday, Toronto could again be without leading scorer Andrea Bargnani(notes) (right ankle), guards Jose Calderon(notes) (left hamstring) and Leandro Barbosa(notes) (left pinky), and forward Amir Johnson(notes) (left ankle).