Final

Regular Season Series (Game 2 of 2)

Series starts 4/1

Game 1: Tuesday, April 1st
Pistons94Final
Timberwolves90
Game 2: Tuesday, April 15th
Timberwolves103Final
Pistons115

Timberwolves 103

(21-60, 7-34 away)

Pistons 115

(58-23, 34-7 home)

    Coverage: KSTC

    7:30 PM ET, April 15, 2008

    The Palace of Auburn Hills, Detroit, MI

    1 2 3 4 T
    MIN 23 20 29 31103
    DET 24 28 34 29115

    Top Performers

    Min: A. Jefferson 30 Pts, 9 Reb, 1 Ast, 1 Stl, 2 Blk

    Det: J. Hayes 20 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast

    Hayes, Pistons serve lottery-bound Wolves 60th defeat of season

    AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -- Flip Saunders only cares about one more thing in the regular season. He wants his Detroit Pistons to get through Wednesday's game in Cleveland without an injury.

    After Detroit's 115-103 victory over Minnesota on Tuesday night, Saunders said he wasn't worried about someone getting hurt in the meaningless game against the Cavaliers, but he knocked on the wooden table as he said it.

    Sorting Out the Matchups

    The playoffs are quickly approaching, but it has yet to be fully determined who will face whom. Need help sorting out the madness? We've got you covered. Matchups

    Tuesday's win clinched the league's second-best record for Detroit, meaning it would have home-court advantage if it gets past Boston and the rest of the Eastern Conference an into the finals.

    "That's nice to have, but I don't think it is critical," Saunders said. "With the 2-3-2 format, I don't know how much it even means."

    The Pistons won the 2004 championship without having the home-court edge in the finals, and didn't push themselves too hard to earn it this time. In the last two weeks of the season, Saunders limited his starters to around 25 minutes a game.

    "We decided on April 1 that we were going to start rotating in the young guys, and we'd take whatever happened," he said. "Luckily for us, the kids have done a great job, and we went something like 10-2."

    Tuesday, Detroit got 55 points from the reserves, including 20 from Jarvis Hayes and nine each from three others.

    "We're having a good time out there right now," said Richard Hamilton, who led the starters with 18. "We've gotten ourselves into a rhythm and we're ready to go."

    Detroit finished the season with a 34-7 home record, eight games better than a season ago.

    "Last year, we lost sight of taking care of our home court," said Chauncey Billups. "This year, we didn't want to let that happen again."

    The loss, which ended Minnesota's two-game winning streak, was its 60th of the season. The Timberwolves finish the season with a home game against Milwaukee on Wednesday.

    "We tried to hang around -- we were right there at the end and they just made some plays," Minnesota coach Randy Wittman said. "Their bench just shot the lights out on us."

    Billups added 17 points and six assists against his former team, while Al Jefferson led Minnesota with 30 points.

    "Everyone makes good plays on that team, even their bench," Jefferson said. "That's why they are one of my favorites for the playoffs. When they won it in 2004 they had a good bench, and now they've got young guys who can play and make shots."

    The first half followed Detroit's recent pattern. The starters kept the game close in the opening quarter -- the Pistons led 24-23 at period's end -- and the reserves convincingly won the second quarter.

    This time, it was Hayes and Lindsey Hunter combining for 20 points as the Pistons pulled to a 52-43 halftime lead.

    "Lindsey made shots, Jarvis made shots and we have good energy," Saunders said. "With that group, when we're making shots, we can turn it up defensively. That's important."

    Detroit's starters returned for the third period, expanding the margin to 14, then let the reserves finish off the game.

    Game notes


    As part of a season-long promotion, the Pistons gave away a $250,000 house at halftime. The winner was Tina Howard of Macomb Township. ... According to a team spokesman, Detroit will start the playoffs Sunday against Philadelphia, but the game time has not been announced. ... The Timberwolves finished 1-14 in road games against Eastern Conference opponents this season.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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    Team Stat Comparison

     
    MIN
    DET
    Points 103 115
    FGM-FGA 41-85 (.482) 40-79 (.506)
    3PM-3PA 7-17 (.412) 7-14 (.500)
    FTM-FTA 14-23 (.609) 28-34 (.824)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 10-21 14-24
    Assists 23 24
    Turnovers 11 15
    Steals 11 8
    Blocks 7 9
    Fast Break Points 9 18
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 22 (1/0) 21 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 1 16

    Top Performers

    Minnesota
    Detroit
    Al Jefferson Jefferson
    Points: 30
    Reb: 9
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 1
    Blk: 2
    Jarvis Hayes Hayes
    Points: 20
    Reb: 5
    Ast: 3
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 0