The Milwaukee Bucks will try to move one step closer to locking down a playoff berth for the first time in two years Sunday when they host the Dallas Mavericks at the Bradley Center.
Milwaukee has been riding high lately, posting a 14-4 record in the month of March, which is the franchise’s best one-month mark since 1972, when the Bucks went 16-2 in March en route to the world championship. The strong month has pushed the Bucks up into fifth place in the East and a season-high four games over .500.
Their latest effort, a 108-105 overtime victory over Detroit on Friday, was far from a masterpiece, but still it was an example of how much Jason Kidd’s team has matured.
The Bucks blew an 18-point first-quarter lead and trailed by 10 with five minutes to play but rallied to force overtime and pulled away late on a Khris Middleton 3-pointer.
“I think it just shows where the team is at mentally and physically. Being down and maybe not playing our best, we still believed we could find a way to win,” Kidd said.
Milwaukee was without guard Malcolm Brogdon, a Rookie of the Year candidate who was battling back pain, and John Henson, who is out with a sprained thumb. But Michael Beasley returned for the Bucks and rookie Thon Maker picked up the slack with a career-high 23 points against the Pistons.
The Bucks also added some help for the stretch run, waiving seldom-used Terrence Jones while picking up Gary Payton II out of the D-League, where he was averaging 14.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 3.3 assists for Rio Grande Valley.