Pistons punch play-off ticket, Pacers must wait


The Detroit Pistons booked their play-off ticket on Friday with a rousing 112-99 win over the Washington Wizards.

The Wizards were 14 points down after the first quarter but whittled the Pistons' lead down to two by the end of the third, only to get outplayed in the fourth.

Reggie Jackson dominated with 39 points and nine assists, while Markieff Morris had 29 points and seven rebounds for the Wizards.

The Pistons secured their NBA post-season involvement with two games to spare after overcoming the Wizards, leaving just one spot left in the Eastern Conference.

The Indiana Pacers are one of two sides vying for that spot, and while the sit in eighth they will have to wait to make certain of their play-off spot after a 111-98 loss to the Toronto Raptors.

The Raptors did not play Kyle Lowry and DeMar Rozan but still scored a comfortable win as Norman Powell stepped up to the plate and banked 27 points.

The Pacers have two games to play and one win will make sure of eighth spot.

Jamal Crawford's clutch three-pointer in overtime was cheered in Houston as he helped the Los Angeles Clippers to a 102-99 win over the Utah Jazz, keeping the play-off door ajar for the Rockets.

The Jazz would have moved two games clear of the Rockets with a win, but were forced into OT by the spirited Clippers, and it was Crawford who decided the contest with 0.02 seconds on the clock.

The San Antonio Spurs rested their whole starting line up with the exception of Tim Duncan, who stood up tall but could not prevent a 102-98 loss against the Denver Nuggets.

Duncan had 21 points, equal top-scorer with the Nuggets' Jusuf Nurkic.

The Dallas Mavericks proved too good for the Memphis Grizzlies, prevailing 103-93, while the New Orleans Pelicans beat the Los Angeles Lakers 110-102 despite D'Angelo Russell scoring 32 points.

The Charlotte Hornets poured more misery on the Brooklyn Nets season with a 113-99 win, the Orlando Magic triumphed over the Miami Heat 112-109, while Robin Lopez's double-double (24 points, 15 rebounds) inspired the New York Knicks to a 109-102 win over the Philadelphia 76ers.

Elsewhere, the Boston Celtics got the better of the Milwaukee Bucks 124-109.