Pistons claim final playoff spot, as Eastern Conference matchups set

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer
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Blake Griffin left the Pistons’ locker room in a huff Tuesday.

Though Detroit overcame a 20-point halftime deficit against the Grizzlies to end a four-game losing streak, Griffin aggravated a knee injury and sat the final 20 minutes. He’d miss Wednesday’s game against the Knicks with a playoff berth on the line – a huge loss for the Pistons. Detroit was 1-5 without Griffin. Even with Andre Drummond on the floor, the Pistons had gotten outscored by 4.1 points per 100 possessions without Griffin.

A day later, Griffin — in street clothes — smiled wide as Detroit completed a 115-89 trouncing of the Knicks to secure a playoff spot over the Hornets.

The Pistons’ next mission: Win their first playoff game in 11 years. With the Magic’s 122-114 win over Charlotte tonight, Detroit will get that opportunity against the Bucks. The Nets’ 113-94 victory over the Heat tonight set the full Eastern Conference playoff field.

The matchups:

1. Bucks vs. 8. Pistons

2. Raptors vs. 7. Magic

3. 76ers vs. 6. Nets

4. Celtics vs. 5. Pacers

The Thunder’s 127-116 win over the Bucks and Spurs’ 105-94 win over the Grizzlies bring the Western Conference playoff picture into clearer focus:

1. Warriors vs. 8. Clippers

2. Nuggets/Rockets vs. 7. Spurs

3. Rockets/Nuggets/Trail Blazers vs. 6. Thunder

4. Trail Blazers/Rockets vs. 5. Jazz

The Nuggets (vs. Timberwolves) and Trail Blazers (vs. Kings) play later tonight to determine the 2-4 seeds. The scenarios: