Sport

Griffin misses Pistons' win-and-in finale

Griffin misses Pistons' win-and-in finale”

The Detroit Pistons are heading to the National Basketball Association playoffs after defeating the lowly New York Knicks 115-89.

The other Eastern Conference series is the fourth-seeded Boston Celtics against the No. 5 seed Indiana Pacers.

Griffin continues to be hampered by a sore left knee.

Detroit extended its lead to 27 points twice in the second quarter and led 65-41 at halftime.

Things get considerably harder from here, though, as the eighth-seeded Pistons open the playoffs against the Bucks, who at 60-22 not only are the East's top seed but also finished with the league's best regular-season record.

But in the Eastern Conference it came down to the Detroit Pistons and Charlotte Hornets battling for that final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. As a team, the Pistons shot just 39 percent from the field and 10 of 34 from the 3-point line as they looked dead in the water after getting outscored by 57-38 in the first half.

"We knew what was at stake", Detroit's Andre Drummond said after scoring 20 points and grabbing 18 rebounds in the win. "We're ahead of the curve".

The games themselves will start on April 13.

"It's a great first step for our organisation and our fans. We're not where we want to be, but we're not where we were". The Pistons will earn a playoff spot with a win or a Charlotte Hornets loss against the Orlando Magic.

Ross's points tally included a red-hot spell from three-point distance, with the 28-year-old small forward making six of 10 attempts from three-point range.

Aaron Gordon powered his way to the basket for the Magic.

Seventh-seeded Orlando will face the second-ranked Toronto Raptors in the opening round of the playoffs.

The NBA Playoff bracket is officially set!

Luke Kennard scored 15 points off the bench and Reggie Jackson had 12 points before going to the bench as Smith flourished in the final quarter.

In San Antonio, LaMarcus Aldridge had 34 points and 16 rebounds and the Spurs beat Dallas in Dirk Nowitzki's final game.



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