Pistons top Knicks 115-89, clinch final playoff spot in East
NEW YORK (AP) — Luke Kennard scored 27 points, Reggie Jackson had 21 and Andre Drummond added 20 points and 18 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons locked up the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot with a 115-89 victory over the New York Knicks on Wednesday night.
The Pistons will face the top-seeded Milwaukee Bucks in the opening round.
Jackson scored 14 points and Drummond had 10 points and seven rebounds in the first quarter as the Pistons never trailed and led by as many as 16 points. Neither Jackson nor Drummond played in the fourth quarter.
Wayne Ellington added 12 points for the Pistons, who hadn’t made the playoffs since the 2015-16 season, the last time they finished over .500 (44-38). Before, Detroit hadn’t made the postseason since 2008-09.
DENVER (AP) — Nikola Jokic had 29 points, 14 rebounds and had a key strip in the closing seconds as Denver scored the game’s final 15 points and secured the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Rookie Anfernee Simons scored a career-high 37 points in his first start of the season and Portland secured the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference using just six players in a win over Sacramento.
The Clippers’ losing streak had already dropped them from the sixth seed to No. 8 in the playoffs, where they’ll open against the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
Grayson Allen led Utah with a career-high 40 points. The rookie made 13 of 14 free throws and five 3-pointers, but was limited to four points in overtime.
The Jazz earned the fifth seed and they’ll play No. 4 Houston in the first round.
THUNDER 127, BUCKS 116
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Russell Westbrook got his 34th triple-double of the season and Oklahoma City beat Milwaukee to lock up the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
Oklahoma City played without injured Paul George, but Westbrook, Jerami Grant and Dennis Schroder led a hot-shooting effort from 3-point range. Westbrook had 15 points, 17 assists and 11 rebounds. He moved into a tie with Magic Johnson for second place on the career triple-double list with 138. Schroder had 32 points, and Grant added a career-best 28.
The Bucks had already clinched the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference and rested star Giannis Antetokounmpo and some other key players.
Khris Middleton scored 21 points in 17 minutes. Tim Frazier scored a career-high 29 points and D.J. Wilson added a career-high 18 while grabbing 17 rebounds. Rookie Bonzie Colson started and scored 21 points.
Aside from Walker’s sharp shooting, nothing went right for Charlotte on the final night of the regular season. The loss also means Tony Parker’s string of 17 straight playoff appearances is over.
NEW YORK (AP) — Dwyane Wade recorded one last triple-double before heading off to retirement, and Brooklyn headed to Philadelphia to take on the 76ers in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs after securing the win and the No. 6 seed.
D’Angelo Russell had 21 points on seven 3-pointers for the Nets, who will face the third-seeded 76ers beginning this weekend in their first postseason appearance since 2015.
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — LaMarcus Aldridge had 34 points and 16 rebounds and San Antonio beat Dallas in Dirk Nowitzki’s final game.
Nowitzki finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds in the finale of his storied 21-season career — all with the Mavericks.
The Spurs head into the Western Conference playoffs as the No. 7 seed.
GRIZZLIES 132, WARRIORS 117
Kevin Durant led the Warriors with 21 points, while Klay Thompson finished with 19. Durant and Thompson, who sat out Tuesday’s win at New Orleans, were the only Golden State starters to play. Both saw action only in the first half.
Golden State entered the game with its playoff position set atop of the Western Conference and sat most of its stars.
Carter, a rookie from West Virginia who was averaging 3.7 points, was 10 of 18 from the field and 8 of 12 from 3-point range. Memphis was helped by 21-of-46 shooting from 3-point range.
In preparation for the playoffs, the 76ers rested all five starters, and star center Joel Embiid’s status for the opener is in question. The third-seeded Sixers said the 7-foot center’s achy left knee may prevent him from playing in the postseason opener this weekend against sixth-seeded Brooklyn.
TJ Leaf set career highs with 28 points and 10 rebounds for Indiana.
- Atlanta Hawks
- Chicago Bulls
- Detroit Pistons
- Golden State Warriors
- Indiana Pacers
- Los Angeles Clippers
- Memphis Grizzlies
- Milwaukee Bucks
- New York Knicks
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Orlando Magic
- Philadelphia 76ers
- San Antonio Spurs