The Pistons knew a victory Wednesday night would guarantee them a playoff spot. And, from the opening tip, they left no doubt that was going to happen.
Luke Kennard scored 27 points, Reggie Jackson had 21 and Andre Drummond added 20 points and 18 rebounds as Detroit grabbed the Eastern Conference’s final playoff spot with a 115-89 victory over the Knicks in New York.
The Pistons will face the top-seeded Bucks in the opening round.
Jackson scored 14 points and Drummond had 10 points and seven rebounds as the Pistons did not trail and led by as many as 16 points in the first quarter. Neither player was needed in the fourth quarter.
“We knew what was at stake,” Drummond said. “We knew they were coming in to try to ruin our season that we worked so hard for. Just tried to stick it to them early and get them out of the game.”
76ers 125, Bulls 109: Jonathon Simmons scored 20 points to lead host Philadelphia past Chicago. In preparation for the playoffs, the 76ers rested all five starters, and center Joel Embiid’s status for the opener is in question because of an achy left knee.
Thunder 127, Bucks 116: Russell Westbrook got his 34th triple-double of the season and visiting Oklahoma City beat Milwaukee to earn the sixth seed in the Western Conference playoffs. 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.
Magic 122, Hornets 114: Kemba Walker scored 43 points in what might be his final game with Charlotte, a loss to Orlando that eliminated the host Hornets from playoff contention.
Nets 113, Heat 94: Dwyane Wade recorded one last triple-double before heading off to retirement, and host Brooklyn headed to Philadelphia after securing the win. Wade had 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in his final NBA game with close friends LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony leading the cheers from their courtside seats.
Spurs 105, Mavericks 94: LaMarcus Aldridge had 34 points and 16 rebounds and host San Antonio beat Dallas in Dirk Nowitzki’s final game. Nowitzki finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Pacers 135, Hawks 134: Edmond Sumner sank three free throws with three-tenths of a second remaining, lifting visiting Indiana.
Nuggets 99, T’wolves 95: Nikola Jokic scored 29 points and had a key strip in the closing seconds for Denver, which scored the game’s final 15 points in a win over visiting Minnesota that secured the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
Blazers 136, Kings 131: Rookie Anfernee Simons scored a personal-high 37 points in his first start of the season and host Portland clinched the No. 3 seed with a dramatic victory over Sacramento using just six players. The Blazers had trailed by 28 points.
Clippers 143, Jazz 137: Montrezl Harrell scored 24 points to lead seven players in double figures and host Los Angeles defeated Utah in overtime, snapping a three-game skid to close the regular season.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/sports/article/Pistons-get-Eastern-Conference-s-final-playoff-13758565.php.