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|A look at where things stand in the NBA playoff picture http://www.ravensauthorizedshops.com/authentic-jaleel-scott-jersey , with six days remaining in the regular season:
Cleveland rallied from 17 points down in the fourth quarter to beat Washington, which might prove fortunate for both teams. It allowed the Cavaliers to stay No. 3 in the East, and kept Washington in the No. 7 spot – which they might prefer.
With Kyrie Irving’s season over, the Boston Celtics don’t look as scary as they once did. And since the Celtics are just about locked into the No. 2 seed, the No. 7 seed might actually look attractive to teams. Milwaukee could have moved into No. 7 on Thursday, but it lost to Brooklyn.
Utah’s easy win over the Los Angeles Clippers put the Jazz on the brink of clinching. Minnesota hurt its cause with a loss to Denver and dropped to No. 8 in the Western Conference.
It’s still seven teams alive in the race for the final five spots out West.
– Indiana at Toronto: Raptors can set a franchise record for wins in a season (57) and clinch the No. 1 seed in the East. The Pacers almost certainly need a win to have a realistic chance of opening the playoffs at home.
– Cleveland at Philadelphia: Winner will be No. 3 in the East when the night ends, loser will be No. 4.
– Atlanta at Washington: The Wizards will try to end a three-game losing streak, but John Wall won’t play.
– Chicago at Boston: Celtics’ first game since the Irving-is-done news came out.
– Miami at New York: Win keeps Heat in the driver’s seat for No. 6 seed and, possibly, a first-round matchup against LeBron James.
– New Orleans at Phoenix: Obviously, not a game the Pelicans can waste http://www.cowboysauthorizedshops.com/authentic-dorance-armstrong-jr.-jersey , not against a team with the NBA’s worst record.
– Minnesota at LA Lakers: The Wolves must win Friday to remain in the top eight out West.
– Dallas-Detroit, Charlotte-Orlando and Sacramento-Memphis have no playoff implications.
First-round matchups if the season ended Thursday …
East: 1-Toronto vs. 8-Milwaukee, 2-Boston vs. 7-Washington, 3-Cleveland vs. 6-Miami, 4-Philadelphia vs. 5-Indiana.
West: 1-Houston vs. 8-Minnesota, 2-Golden State vs. 7-New Orleans, 3-Portland vs. 6-Oklahoma City, 4-Utah vs. 5-San Antonio.
NOTE OF THE DAY
This will be the first season since 2000-01 that two teams in the same conference with records above .500 miss the playoffs. It happened to Houston (45-37) and Seattle (44-38) that season, and will happen to two other Western Conference clubs this season.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
”In general, it’s hard to win an NBA game if you don’t put forth an effort – at all.” – Warriors coach Steve Kerr, after Golden State lost by 20 in Indiana.
The Detroit Pistons are just playing for pride in the final days of the NBA season.They’ve been eliminated from the playoffs – and haven’t even won a postseason game in 10 years – and they traded away their first-round pick for Blake Griffin.
Reggie Jackson Eduardo Escobar Minnesota Twins Jersey , howver, found a reason to step up against the Dallas Mavericks.
Jackson scored 12 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Pistons beat the Mavericks 113-106 Friday night.
”The plan was just to win the game,” Jackson said. ”They had some young guys out there who really want to prove something, and they were all playing amazing, so we had to find a way to stop them.”
Jackson played 35 minutes, his most since returning from missing 37 games with a sprained ankle.
”He made a lot of great plays out of the pick-and-roll, to the point that I was getting upset if we ran anything else,” Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy said. ”He was able to keep that going into overtime, which was good to see, and he was one of the few guys we had trying on defense tonight.”
Andre Drummond added 19 points and 16 rebounds for the Pistons, who had six scorers in double figures.
Johnathan Motley led the Mavericks with career highs of 26 points and 12 rebounds.
”You have to tip your cap to our player-development people and our G-League people Fred Warner Color Rush Jersey , because they’ve been coaching him up all year to be ready for this opportunity,” Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said.
Motley, playing his ninth NBA game, also held Drummond in check for most of the game.
”He’s a great player who is dominating the league, so this was really going into the fire for me,” he said. ”I’m confident in my ability, and I think I can play in this league, so this was a good test for me.”
Detroit led 101-98 with a minute left in regulation, but Carlisle kept starters Harrison Barnes, Dwight Powell and Dennis Smith Jr. on the bench.
Luke Kennard missed a clinching 3-pointer, and after Dallas turned the ball over Albert Wilson Color Rush Jersey , Jackson missed a shot that would have made it a five-point game with 30 seconds left.
Motley tied the score with a 3 with 10.1 seconds left, and Jackson’s buzzer-beater bounced off the front rim.
Detroit moved ahead 110-105 with 1:29 in overtime, and after a Dallas offensive foul, Jackson’s floater sealed the victory.
The game was Detroit’s first since being eliminated from playoff contention by Wednesday’s loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
”I think we can call that a low-intensity game on both sides,” Van Gundy said. ”There wasn’t a lot of urgency to win the game by either team until overtime, but Reggie made the plays we needed to win it.”
With both teams eliminated from playoff contention and playing short-handed, the quality of play suffered. On one first-quarter possession, the Pistons were forced into a 3-point try by Drummond as the shot clock expired. Drummond missed and fell to 0-for-10 on 3s this season and 5 for 29 in his six-year career.
Maxi Kleber’s buzzer-beating jumper gave the Mavericks a 54-53 lead at halftime. Motley and Barnes had 13 points each for Dallas, while Anthony Tolliver and Henry Ellenson combined for 20 points at Blake Griffin’s power-forward spot.
Neither team was able to take control in the third quarter, but a late 3 by Langston Galloway gave the Pistons a 78-75 lead going into the final 12 minutes of regulation.
The Mavericks began the fourth with a 10-2 run, but couldn’t hold the advantage.
Mavericks: Three of Dallas’ top five scorers – Jose Juan Berea (rib strain) http://www.chiefsauthorizedshops.com/authentic-robert-golden-jersey , Dirk Nowitzki (ankle) and Wesley Matthews (leg) – missed the game. … Nowitzki averaged 19.7 points and 8.0 rebounds in 19 games on the Pistons’ home court at the Palace of Auburn Hills. This would have been his first, and possibly only, game at Little Caesars Arena.
Pistons: Reggie Bullock sat out with swelling in his left knee, while Griffin missed his fifth straight game with an ankle injury. … Drummond needs 48 rebounds in the final three games to become the first NBA player to average 16 per game since Dennis Rodman in 1996-97. Rodman, who did it five times with the Pistons, San Antonio Spurs and Chicago Bulls, is the only player to average 16 for a season since Moses Malone in 1978-79.
Mavericks: At the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday in their last road game of the season.
Pistons: At the Memphis Grizzlies on Sunday.