Originally posted on Fox Sports Wisconsin  |  Last updated 4/5/12
Denver_nuggets_at_c10a
MILWAUKEE -- If the Milwaukee Bucks are going to make a serious push for the playoffs, this is the week to do it. Two games into a stretch of four for the Bucks playing against below. 500 teams, so far, so good. A road win Monday over the Wizards was followed Wednesday by a 107-98 victory at home against the Kyrie Irving-less Cleveland Cavaliers. With 12 regular season games remaining, Milwaukee is now just 1.0 game back from the New York Knicks for the Eastern Conference's eighth and final playoff spot.If the Bucks do pass the Knicks and qualify for the postseason, a date with the top-seeded Chicago Bulls likely awaits. If that happens, expectations will be high in Milwaukee's locker room."If we're fortunate enough to get there, we're going to compete and we expect to win," Mike Dunleavy said. "We're going to not only in the next few weeks try and get wins and get in the playoffs, we're going to prepare ourselves to play one of these teams, go in there and go on the road and get a win when we need to get a win."Wednesday's matchup with the Cavs was the first of five consecutive games at home for the Bucks. Next up is the NBA's worst team, with the 7-45 Charlotte Bobcats traveling to Milwaukee on Friday, followed by the Portland Trail Blazers (25-29) on Saturday. After a difficult matchup with the Western Conference's top team, the Oklahoma City Thunder, coming up Monday, the Bucks' home stand will conclude with an ultra-important game against New York."We haven't necessarily played well at home, haven't protected our home court and now is the time of the year we have to do it," Dunleavy said.After beating the Cavs, Milwaukee is now 13-12 at home this season.But even without Irving, who is a sure thing to win rookie of the year, Cleveland outscored the Bucks in the final three quarters to keep the game close until the final minute."It's a team we feel like we should handle a little bit easier than we did," coach Scott Skiles said. "We won the game. It's good to see. You have to give them a lot of credit. Without Kyrie and being down like that at the end of the first quarter, that'd be a very easy game to just mail in. They hung in there. They took it to us a little bit in the second half."We won the game. We're happy to have the win. I don't want to minimize it. We're happy to have the win."This would've been a devastating loss."Fortunately for Skiles and the Bucks, Monta Ellis took over in the fourth quarter. In the final 4:32 of the game, Ellis made all eight of his shots and scored 16 points."He made some tough shots," Cleveland guard Anthony Parker said of Ellis, whom he was guarding that entire time. "He's a guy that's super fast. He's such a good player that once he gets it going, it's tough to stop."Ellis finished with 30 points and said afterwards that he's not worried whatsoever about what the Knicks -- or the seventh-seeded and struggling Philadelphia 76ers -- are doing."We just have to worry about us," Ellis said. "We can't worry about the next team."Though Ellis may not be interested, the 76ers lost to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday, and the Knicks play at Orlando on Thursday night.Follow Paul Imig on Twitter.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Jimmy Butler recruiting Kyle Lowry to the Timberwolves

WATCH: Tim Tebow didn't waste any time homering after promotion

Nolan Arenado throws out runner from seated position

NFL fans in Florida seem to like Tom Brady more than any of their three teams’ players

Austin Rivers responds to ‘false’ report about Chris Paul issues

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mayweather-McGregor fight is reportedly seeking a $10 million title sponsor

Kevin Durant laughs off Rockets’ acquisition of Chris Paul

Terry Francona wearing heart monitor in case of another 'episode'

Albert Almora denies flipping off President Donald Trump during White House visit

Nationals minor league team will give out ‘Ode to Tommy John’ figurines

Blazers post hilarious tweets after acquiring cash from Rockets

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

Top NBA free agents available

Box Score 6/28: New York loses its zen

Although you have seen this start before, this season is no sequel for the Dodgers

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

Who won Wimbledon the year you were born?

Box Score 6/27: Monday is for all sorts of ballers

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'You get a steal! You get a steal! Everybody gets a steal!' quiz

Rewriting the Hall of Fame rubric for today's pitchers

2017 is not another disappointing sequel for the Dodgers

BIG3 Referee Hotline Bling: Ricky Davis takes unnecessary shots at Al Harrington

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

The 'Power hitters are coming for that number one spot' quiz

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker