Cavaliers, Sixers playing for playoff positioning

Cavaliers, Sixers playing for playoff positioning

Stop the countdown; it's over.

Cavs minute: Cleveland leads the Sixers by a half game for third place.

The Detroit Pistons and their playoff hopes were dashed by the streaking Philadelphia 76ers, beaten 115-108 in the National Basketball Association on Wednesday. JJ Redick scored 25 points to lead the Sixers, who won their 12th straight game, 115-108.

Also, their first-round draft pick, which will be in the top 14 picks, will be relayed to the Los Angeles Clippers - as part of the Blake Griffin trade - unless they move up into the top three spots through the draft lottery.

The Philadelphia 76ers have won 10 games in a row.

The Pistons have four games remaining in the regular season. Andre Drummond added 13 points and 15 rebounds in the loss. For example, Simmons' Player Efficiency Rating, or PER, is higher (19.8) than the one James produced in 2003-04 (18.3), as is his total win shares (8.5 to 5.1), box plus-minus (4.4 to 1.9), a box score estimate of the points per 100 possessions a player contributed above a league-average player, translated to an average team, and value over a replacement player (11.3 wins compared to 8.4). And this was his sixth time he scored at least 25 points this season, marking his first since December 12.

Richaun Holmes, Amir Johnson and Ersan Ilyasova could fill in with the rotation, but there is a steep drop-off behind the starters. The Pistons pulled within five points (112-107) on Reggie Bullock's 3-pointer with 21.4 seconds left.

Tolliver kept the Pistons in it with a 3-pointer - part of his eight straight Pistons points - but Redick had another 3-pointer amid the spurt and the margin was down to 10.

In the final minute, the Pistons got the deficit down to seven, but they didn't threaten the rest of the way. As it sits today, the Cavaliers hold the three seed, the 76ers hold the four seed, and the Pacers hold the five. 7 matchup in the second round.

Now, there's a new sheriff in town as rookie point forward Ben Simmons has emerged as the latest player with star potential and then some. His fourth-quarter surge nearly kept the Pistons in it, but defense was the bugaboo yet again, as they couldn't get stops on the defensive end to solidify their made shots. J.J. Redick was creating opportunities from inside the arc due to the threat of his perimeter shot.

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