Rasheed Wallace had 26 points and eight rebounds as the Pistons clinched the Central Division title with a 91-84 victory over the Atlanta Hawks last night at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Mich.
The Pistons (53-13) also reduced their magic number to clinch the Eastern Conference's best record to nine over Miami. The Hawks have lost five of six.
Chauncey Billups and Richard Hamilton added 14 points each for the Pistons, who had five players score in double figures. Ben Wallace had only 5 points, but added 13 rebounds, 4 steals, and 3 blocks.
Al Harrington led the Hawks with 23 points and Joe Johnson had 17. Detroit led, 53-34, at the half, thanks to 17 points from Rasheed Wallace, but Atlanta rallied in the third.
The Hawks scored 26 points in the quarter, but couldn't get enough stops for a sustained rally. They got as close as 57-47, but never cut the lead to single digits.
Clippers 99, Rockets 91 -- Sam Cassell scored 24 points, pushing visiting Los Angeles to 13 games over .500 for the first time since the 1975-76 season.
The Clippers outscored Houston, 12-2, in a span of 4:15 in the fourth quarter to take an 89-80 lead with 5:16 to play. Cassell's 3-pointer made it 94-85 with 1:28 to play.
Cassell scored 7 points in the first five minutes of the third quarter to help the Clippers to their biggest lead at 60-51.
Bucks 100, Trail Blazers 93 -- Michael Redd had 23 points, T.J. Ford added 19 points and 10 assists, and visiting Milwaukee beat Portland for the second time in three days.
Zach Randolph had 23 points and nine rebounds for the Blazers, who have lost five in a row and nine of 10. After going into halftime tied, the Bucks outscored Portland, 31-16, in the third quarter. The Blazers rallied to get within 1 with 1:49 left, but Milwaukee closed the game on a 6-0 run.