It is hard to call a game in early March a "must-win," but it does qualify as a "can't lose" for the Bucks (35-31) considering the Grizzlies are entering this contest on a 17-game losing streak. It is the longest since the team moved to Memphis in 2001 and the second-longest in franchise history to the 23-game skid in their inaugural season in the NBA in 1995/96.
Milwaukee are comfortably in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, leading Detroit by five games with 16 to play, but they are also just three games behind Indiana for fourth place, which would carry home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Bucks won for just the second time in eight games Saturday, defeating the New York Knicks 120-112. Khris Middleton scored 30 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo added 28 and ten rebounds as Milwaukee shot 56.2 percent. The Bucks, though, are looking to end a six-game losing streak in Memphis since a 103-98 victory November 21, 2009.
The Grizzlies (18-48) have the worst record in the league thanks to their lengthy losing streak, which is the longest single-season run of futility in the league since the 76ers dropped 26 straight from January 31 to March 19, 2014. Memphis have been outscored by an average of 12.8 points during this skid, scoring 94.8 per game, after being thrashed 114-80 at Dallas on Saturday night.
Dillon Brooks scored 17 points and JaMychal Green added 14 and ten rebounds as the Grizzlies shot 35.7 percent, their third-worst mark of the season. Center Marc Gasol is expected to be back in the lineup after being rested on the back end of games on consecutive nights.