Pistons clinch division title

Posted: Tuesday, April 09, 2002

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons clinched their first division title since their championship era 12 years ago, beating the Atlanta Hawks 105-99 Monday night.

Zeljko Rebraca had career highs with 18 points, 13 rebounds and seven blocks. The Yugoslavian rookie replaced injured Ben Wallace (ankle), who leads the league in blocks and rebounds, and helped Detroit (47-30) win its first Central Division title since the 1989-90 NBA champs.

Magic 83, Rockets 74

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Tracy McGrady had 22 points, 14 in the fourth quarter, 10 rebounds and six assists as the Magic moved within one victory or another Indiana loss of clinching a postseason berth.

Troy Hudson scored 19 points, and his 3-pointer with 1:04 remaining capped a 16-1 run that sealed the Magic's 10th straight win over Houston.

Cavaliers 111, Pacers 99

INDIANAPOLIS -- Ricky Davis had 32 points, while the Cavaliers limited Indiana to just five baskets in the final 18 minutes and ended a seven-game road losing streak.

Indiana has lost three straight and seven of nine as its playoff hopes took another big hit.

Spurs 99, Blazers 87

SAN ANTONIO -- Tim Duncan scored 24 points, including a key late basket to break San Antonio out of a scoring slump.

Trailing by 20 points with seven minutes remaining, Portland tore off an 18-4 run that made the score 93-87 with 2:32 left. But the Blazers would score no more. Duncan knocked down a turn-around jumper, and Steve Smith and Jason Hart made four free throws to cinch the win.

Mavericks 105, Jazz 96

SALT LAKE CITY -- Nick Van Exel and Michael Finley each heated up in the fourth quarter and finished with 20 points for Dallas. Van Exel had 12 points in the final period and Finley had 10 as the Mavericks remained a half-game ahead of San Antonio for the Midwest Division lead and the No. 2 playoff position in the Western Conference.

And Dallas did it without leading scorer and rebounder Dirk Nowitzki, who had 10 points when he rolled his left ankle with 1:54 before halftime and limped to the dressing room.

Bulls 105, Celtics 100

CHICAGO -- Trenton Hassell made a key 3-pointer and Travis Best converted a pair of free throws, all in the final minute, to snap the Bulls' nine-game losing streak.

Antoine Walker, who finished with 33 points, missed an off-balance 3-pointer with 3 seconds left for Boston.

SuperSonics 102, Clippers 100

SEATTLE -- Desmond Mason had 26 of his career-high 36 points in the second half, and the SuperSonics clinched a playoff berth, eliminating the Los Angeles Clippers from postseason contention.

Utah, despite its loss to Dallas, got into the playoffs with the Clippers' loss.

Timberwolves 100, Warriors 93

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Wally Szczerbiak scored 21 points through constant boos, and Kevin Garnett had 22 points and 12 rebounds. All five Wolves starters scored in double figures, who won for the sixth time in seven games.

Despite the early ejection of former Warriors center Marc Jackson for a flagrant foul, Minnesota increased its lead to two games over Portland for the fifth playoff spot in the Western Conference.

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