Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Detroit rout Knicks to claim last playoff ticket

Detroit rout Knicks to claim last playoff ticket

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Luke Kennard #5 of the Detroit Pistons handles the ball against the New York Knicks on April 10, 2019 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. (AFP/Brian Babineau/NBAE via Getty Images)

Detroit rout Knicks to claim last playoff ticket

THE Detroit Pistons clinched the final ticket to the NBA playoffs on Wednesday, sealing their first postseason berth since 2016 with a 115-89 defeat of the New York Knicks.

With Eastern Conference rivals the Charlotte Hornets losing to the Orlando Magic elsewhere in Wednesday’s final round of regular season games, the Pistons would have advanced regardless of their result against the Knicks.

But the result against the team with the worst record in the NBA this season was never in doubt as Detroit moved into the lead before pulling away for a comfortable win.

Luke Kennard scored 27 points off the bench for Detroit, while starters Andre Drummond and Reggie Jackson delivered 20-point displays to lead the Pistons into the postseason.

Drummond finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds while Jackson had 21 points and seven assists.

Detroit’s reward for claiming the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference is a first round playoff duel with the Milwaukee Bucks.

The result also represented vindication of sorts for head coach Dwane Casey, who has led the Pistons back to the postseason in his first year.

Casey, who was harshly fired by the Toronto Raptors last year despite a 59-win season, said his Detroit rebuilding plan was ahead of schedule.

“We’re still in the growth process,” Casey said afterwards. “We’re ahead of the curve. This is the first step for us, for our young guys to experience the playoffs and to understand what it takes to get there and hopefully make some noise.

“It’s a great first step for our organisation and our fans. We’re not where we want to be, but we’re not where we were.”

Hornets stung by Magic

In Charlotte, meanwhile, Kemba Walker exploded for 43 points in vain as the Hornets slender playoff chances ended with a defeat to Orlando.

Walker’s superb display was backed with 22 points from Jeremy Lamb and 18 points from Miles Bridges.

The Magic however ran out 122-114 winners with Terrence Ross scoring 35 points from the bench in 29 minutes.

Ross’ points tally included a red-hot spell from three-point distance, with the 28-year-old small forward making six of 10 attempts from three-point range.

Aaron Gordon added 27 points while DJ Augustin (18) and Evan Fournier (14) also cracked double digits.

Seventh-seeded Orlando will face the second-ranked Toronto Raptors in the opening round of the playoffs.

In New York, Dwyane Wade signed off from the NBA with a fifth career triple-double as the already-eliminated Miami Heat closed their season with a 113-94 loss to the playoff-bound Brooklyn Nets.

Wade, who had been given a gala send-off on Tuesday in his final home appearance in Miami, finished with 25 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in the defeat.

There was a double-digit farewell for another NBA icon in San Antonio, where Dallas Mavericks German veteran Dirk Nowitzki finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

The Mavericks, who finished outside the playoff places, were beaten 105-94 by the Spurs, the seventh seeds from the Western Conference.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia-Thailand rail reconnected after 45 years

    A railway reconnecting Cambodia and Thailand was officially inaugurated on Monday following a 45-year hiatus, with the two kingdoms’ prime ministers in attendance at the ceremony. On the occasion, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha travelled together from Thailand’s

  • Thousands attend CNRP-organised pro-democracy vigil in South Korea

    Thousands of supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) on Saturday gathered in the South Korean city of Gwangju to hold a candlelight demonstration calling for the “liberation” of democracy in Cambodia. Yim Sinorn, a CNRP member in South Korea, said on

  • US Embassy: Chinese trade does not help like the West’s

    The US Embassy in Phnom Penh on Friday said relations between China and Cambodia did not create jobs or help industry when compared to the trade between the Kingdom and the US. “About 87 per cent of trade [with China] are Chinese imports, which do not

  • The Christian NGO empowering Cambodian families in Siem Reap

    With its basketball court, football pitch, tennis court and ninja warrior water sports area, you could be forgiven for thinking that the Siem Reap campus of International Christian Fellowship (ICF) Cambodia is a sports centre. But while these free, family-friendly activities are one of the