The Milwaukee Bucks are 0-16 all-time in playoff series in which they lose the first two games. But these Bucks are determined to break that streak.
They find themselves in this situation after dropping Game 2 on Monday, two days after a 12-point loss in the series opener.
But despite returning to Milwaukee without a win, Jason Kidd's group is confident they can replicate the Bulls' home success in Games 3 and 4.
[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]
"Hell yeah," said O.J. Mayo, when asked if they still believe they can stay competitive. "It’s a playoff series. (The Bulls) did what they were supposed to do. They got home court advantage, they won two games. Go back to Milwaukee and we’ve got to take care of business.
"We tried to come in here and steal one and they protected home. Now it’s our turn."
They still have obvious kinks to work out, specifically better ball movement, but they leave Chicago on somewhat of a high note, being within two possessions late in their Game 2 loss after playing even with the Bulls through a half in Game 1. In the first two games, they forced the Bulls into 34 turnovers, limited All-Star Pau Gasol with suffocating double-teams and, for a team with four core players making their playoff debuts, got their first taste of postseason basketball.
They posted a 23-18 home record in the regular season, including a 95-91 win over the Bulls on April 1. Derrick Rose hadn't yet returned from knee surgery in that contest, but the Bucks owned the glass in that game, got positive contributions from Michael Carter-Williams (21 points) and Mayo (13 points) and closed with a strong fourth quarter to earn the victory.
That win was a learning experience, as were Games 1 and 2 in this series. Leading scorer Khris Middleton said after the game that the Bucks were noticeably better on Monday than they were on Saturday, and that he expected that to continue in Game 3.
"We lost these two, but we're going to fight to get this series back," he said. "We're going to defend our home court on Thursday."