Bradley Beal and Reggie Jackson.

Friday night game round-up: Pistons clinch playoffs spot with win over Wizards

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The Detriot Pistons clinched their first trip to the NBA postseason in seven years with last night's victory against the Washington Wizards.

Reggie Jackson put in a stellar performance for the Pistons, as the flashy point guard ended the night with 39 points and nine assists to lead the previously struggling Detroit franchise back to the promised land with the 112-99 win at the Palace. 

The Wizards, on the other hand, saw their playoffs chances slip away with the disappointing loss. Markieff Morris tried his best to drag Washington to the win but his 29 points could only keep the Wizards in contact. Bradley Beal also put in a good shift, finishing with 25.

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Spurs 98, Nuggets 102

The San Antonio Spurs lost only their 14th game of the season last night against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. 

Tim Duncan was the only recognizable face to start for the Spurs, as Gregg Popovich decided to rest Tony Parker, LaMarcus Aldridge, Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green as the playoffs rapidly approach. The decision to play Duncan proved a good one, as the veteran forward put up his season-high scoring numbers with 21 points.

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The Nuggets have already missed out on making the playoffs, but that didn't stop them from digging in against San Antonio, as Jusuf Nurkic and Emmanuel Mudiay posted up 21 and 20 points, respectively.

Clippers 102, Jazz 99

On a night where they rested usual key players in Chris Paul,  Blake Griffin, DeAndre Jordan and J.J. Redick, the LA Clippers still had something about them to pick up the victory against a full-strength Utah Jazz side last night. 

Jamal Crawford was the star of the show, taking the reigns and taking over as he finished with 30 points and the game-winning three-pointer with just 0.2 seconds left on the clock. Crawford was ably backed up by 21 from Cole Aldrich while Paul Pierce and Jeff Green both had 18.

The Jazz will definitely need to improve once the playoffs roll around. Currently sitting in the 8th seed, Utah would be going up against Golden State, who would easily sweep the Jazz if they played like they did last night against Steph Curry and co.

Grizzlies 93, Mavericks 103

In the battle of the 6th and 7th seeds in the Western Conference, it was the 7th placed team who came out on top in this encounter, as the Mavericks moved to within a game of Memphis with the victory. 

Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks in scoring with 21 points on 6-of-12 shooting and had help from Justin Anderson who helped himself to a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards. 

On the Memphis side of the ball, Tony Allen scored 25 points to lead the injury-ridden Grizzlies. They lost for the seventh time in eight games but are still guaranteed a spot in the postseason thanks to their good start.

Pacers 98, Raptors 111

With the Toronto Raptors resting their All-Stars in Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan,  this seemed like the perfect opportunity for the Pacers to get themselves back into form before the playoffs.

Instead, the Raptors and their rag tag lineup got a convincing win over the rivals in the East. Norman Powell finished with a season-high 27 points while fellow rookie Delon Wright added 19 as the Raptors kept Indiana from confirming their playoffs spot on Friday night.

Monta Ellis top scored with 17 points for Indiana, while Solomon Hill added 16. All-Star forward Paul George managed just 14 on a poor night overall for the Pacers.

Lakers 102, Pelicans 110

The Kobe Bryant retirement tour stopped off in New Orleans as the Pelicans hosted the Lakers at Smoothie King Center.

Bryant got one of his biggest receptions of the year, as the home team crowd demanded that the Black Mamba take to the court in the fourth quarter. They were so loud that Byron Scott kowtowed and put Kobe in the game when he wouldn't have been.

Bryant scored 14 points, had four assists and grabbed three rebounds in his last trip to NOLA. D'Angelo Russell had 32 and Jordan Clarkson added 26, but it wasn't enough for the Lakers as the Pels got the win behind 28 from Alexis Ajinca.

Bucks 109, Celtics 124

Tyler Zeller matched his career best with 26 points and Boston continued its playoff push with a 124-109 win over Milwaukee on Friday night.

Isaiah Thomas added 20 points, and Avery Bradley and Kelly Olynyk each finished with 16 as the Celtics claimed their fourth win in a row as they look to head into the postseason in top form.

Giannis Antetokounmpo had 27 points and seven assists, but it wasn't enough from the Greek Freak to keep the Bucks close. Miles Plumlee added 16 points for Milwaukee, who lost their third straight game with their playoff hopes already dead.

Heat 109, Magic 112

Despite not having a chance at making the NBA playoffs, the Orlando Magic are still playing like everything is on the line.

The Magic are 5-5 in their last ten games, which is better than any other team who have already missed out on the postseason, and they aren't going to stop playing hard as the season draws to a close. Nikola Vucevic and Evan Fournier led the Magic in scoring, combining for an impressive 57 points.

On the Heat side of the ball, they got scoring from pretty much every spot in the rotation as seven players reached double figures. 

Nets 99, Hornets 113

Being just one game behind the third seed in the extremely congested Eastern Conference, there is no chance of the Charlotte Hornets letting up just yet, as they showed against the Nets last night.

As usual, Kemba Walker led Charlotte in scoring with 22 points, while Troy Daniels came off the bench to score five of his seven three-point attempts and open up a gap on the ailing Nets, for whom Thomas Robinson was a rare bright spot as he finished with 16 points and 17 rebounds.

Knicks 109, 76ers 102

The New York Knicks should be thankful they have two real top-tier players in Carmelo Anthony and Robin Lopez. 

Anthony had 20 despite playing with a stomach bug and Lopez finished with a 24 and 15 double-double to guide the Big Apple franchise past the Sixers, for whom Robert Covington played excellently - helping himself to 30 points.

Charlotte Hornets
Southeast Division
Eastern Conference
New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Toronto Raptors
Miami Heat
LA Clippers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
San Antonio Spurs
Southwest Division
Washington Wizards
Boston Celtics
New Orleans Pelicans
Dallas Mavericks
Brooklyn Nets
Milwaukee Bucks
Central Division
Indiana Pacers
Utah Jazz
Northwest Division
Philadelphia Sixers
Orlando Magic
Memphis Grizzlies
Denver Nuggets
LA Lakers
Detroit Pistons

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