About Final Night time: Pistons’ playoff thrust

The Pistons are pumping in Detroit.

With Sunday’s 112-107 time beyond regulation victory in opposition to Toronto — their ninth win in 11 video games and fifth straight at dwelling — Detroit has reached .500 for the primary time since Dec. 26 and claimed the Jap Convention’s No. 6 seed in a single fell swoop. (Here is the place we acknowledge Kawhi Leonard was rested, dropping the Raptors to 13-5 with out their star ahead.)

Blake Griffin (27 factors, seven rebounds) and Andre Drummond (15 factors, 17 rebounds) led the best way, boosted by twin 19-point performances from Reggie Jackson and Luke Kennard.

“That is a very good basketball group,” Drummond stated. “They got here out performed exhausting your complete means, and so they’re recognized for taking part in that onerous and taking part in aggressive and taking part in bodily. I feel we did an ideal job matching their depth. All of our guys high to backside, performed powerful.”


The Pistons knocked off the Raptors on Sunday for an important victory.

The important thing cog has been Drummond, he of the league-leading 52 double-doubles. Throughout this 11-game run, Drummond has averaged 20.7 factors, 16.1 rebounds, 2.2 steals, 2.1 blocks whereas taking pictures 62.2 % from the sphere and a decent 68.5 % on the line.

General, the group has produced a league-best offense (118.1 score vs. their 107.5 total mark) and its fifth-best protection (a 107.2 score, carefully hewing to their season line of throughout their sizzling streak. Jackson catching fireplace has certainly boosted that offensive bounce – his true taking pictures proportion has been practically 10 factors larger throughout the streak.

Detroit opened the run 22-29, slotted ninth within the East, two video games again of Miami for a playoff place. Now, it is the Warmth on the surface, and Detroit taking a look at a possible matchup vs. the third-place Pacers.

“Earlier than … the All-Star break, we discovered ourselves,” Drummond stated. “We all know what it takes to win basketball video games, and if we hold taking part in like that we’ll be a really, excellent group and go far within the playoffs.”

Drummond appears … not improper in regards to the former. Time will inform on the opposite bit.


One other bummer for Boston

The Celtics have been the newest victims laid waste by James Harden’s buzzsaw season, with the Rockets guard going for 42 factors in a 115-104 victory through which Houston practically led all through.


The loss, although it does not a lot imperil Boston’s playoff hopes – they sit No. 5 within the East, a snug video games forward of the Pistons – seals their maintain on the league’s worst document for the reason that All-Star break at 1-5. The Celtics’ offense has evaporated, with Boston posting a league-worst score in these six video games. Their protection solely dropping from top-5 to top-10 gives little solace.

Kyrie Irving, usually expansive in his feedback, pre, submit and completely un-game-related, was notably terse within the locker room:

Kyrie with the media after the loss to the #Rockets do not blink, you may miss it.

— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) March four, 2019

The tl;dr a repeated chorus: “Simply gotta play higher.”

He is proper.


Westbrook wills a win

With the Thunder (minus Paul George) by some means in peril of dropping a house sport to the Grizzlies with out Mike Conley Jr. on the courtroom, Russell Westbrook dug deep, scoring 12 factors within the closing 6:23 to eke out a 99-95 victory.


Russell Westbrook hit this go-ahead bucket within the closing minute vs. Memphis.

Disaster averted. However maybe slightly near that fifth straight loss for consolation.


Playoff Image

After Sunday’s motion, the notable outcomes within the East left the Pistons sixth, the Nets seventh and Orlando forward of Charlotte (by proportion factors) in addition to Miami (zero.5 video games) for the eighth spot.

Out West, Oklahoma Metropolis and Portland are tied for third (although OKC holds the head-to-head tiebreaker) with Houston however a sport again on that essential fourth seed and its opening spherical homecourt benefit. The Clippers, in the meantime, proceed to hold above the cutoff.

Here is how the board shakes out total:


Methods to cease Trae Younger

Hawks rookie Trae Younger, whose ridiculous taking pictures has lastly caught as much as his chic passing on the NBA stage was monitoring for one more top-tier stat line (18 factors, 5 assists in 18 minutes) in opposition to the Bulls when this occurred:


Here is the play that resulted in Trae Younger’s ejection on Sunday.

Wait, what?! Here is the official rationalization:

Transcript: NBA Referee Mark Ayotte Feedback to Pool Reporter after Hawks – Bulls Recreation

— NBA Official (@NBAOfficial) March three, 2019

Alex Len stepped as much as rating 28 factors (5 3s!) within the 123-118 victory.

As they are saying – and the refs really straight reference right here – it is by no means the primary one which will get you tossed. Younger and Kris Dunn had gotten pleasant earlier within the sport, setting the stage for implications to emanate out of the post-shot posturing.

“I hit a shot, and I simply regarded within the enviornment,” Younger stated “I did not say something. They made the decision; I’ve simply bought to dwell with it.”

“You attempt to play with power, ardour, emotion,” he continued. “For me, I used to be simply having enjoyable. That wasn’t the primary time I checked out somebody after I hit a shot.”

May not be the final, however mayyyybe not for a sport or two to let that scenario settle. For what it is price, Dunn “felt like [Young] should not have gotten ejected.” #OnToTheNextOne

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