Jim Boylan's message to his struggling team after the Bucks dropped their fourth game in a row was simple.

There's not anybody in the NBA feeling sorry for them, so the Bucks shouldn't feel sorry for themselves.

Milwaukee continued its slide with a 102-90 loss to Washington on Monday night, dropping the Bucks back to the .500 mark with their sixth loss in seven games.

"We are at a rocky point right now," Bucks guard Monta Ellis said. "We are hitting a lot of bumps in the road, but it's the NBA, it goes like that. We just have to fight our way out of it."

While the Wizards are improved since the return of John Wall and Nene, Washington entered Monday with a 3-21 road record. One of the main reasons the Wizards walked out of the BMO Harris Bradley Center with their first road win over an Eastern Conference opponent was Milwaukee's inability to defend.

"Our defense was terrible," Boylan said.

Energized and playing with great intensity for extended stretches of games, Milwaukee busted to an 8-3 start after the coaching change. With Monday's loss, the Bucks fell to 9-9 under Boylan, who isn't seeing the same energy, effort and focus on the floor as he did when he first took over.

"Spotty," Boylan said to his team's energy level. "I think sometimes we're good, we bring some energy. Even in tonight's game there were spurts where we had a little something going, we had a little pop. Sustaining it, I feel like we've had a little bit of slippage in that area."

To Boylan, the lack of focus was apparent on the defensive end. Multiple times throughout the game the Bucks were burned on the same play two or three times. Rookie guard Bradley Beal was a main benefactor, scoring a career-high 28 points.

"When you can't figure out what's going out there on the floor and make adjustments during the course of the game, to me that's a little bit of a lack of focus," Boylan said. "You need to get beat one time and not let yourself get beat a second or third time. Tonight that happened to us a couple of times. That's just not being focused 100 percent on the game.