When Reggie Jackson was listed as out because of a abdominal strain 15 minutes before tip-off, you knew the Pistons would have trouble winning against Miami. Combine that with a vintage Noted Piston Killer Joe Johnson performance in the fourth quarter, and you have the recipe for Detroit clinching the No. 8 seed.
Steve Blake played well enough in Reggie Jackson's absence (10 points, seven assists), Andre Drummond had nine points and 18 rebounds, and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope led the Pistons with 17 points. Noted Piston Killer Joe Johnson scored 25 points, 16 of which came in the final quarter (on perfect six-for-six shooting).
In the grand scheme of things, this loss matters very little for the Pistons. The No. 7 seed was unlikely, as Indiana holds the playoff tiebreaker over Detroit and had two games left against inferior competition coming into tonight's game. Ultimately, Reggie's (hopefully rapidly improving) health and the fact that no more Pistons got injured matters much more than the outcome of this game.
I gotta find a sidebar outta this mess. But @AaronMcMann has to find two gamers and notebook. Bahahahahaha.— David Mayo (@David_Mayo) April 12, 2016
What if I told you Steve Blake (8 pts) was #Pistons leading scorer?— Rod Beard (@detnewsRodBeard) April 13, 2016
Goran Dragic just threw his tooth toward the #Heat bench?!? That just happened— Manny Navarro (@Manny_Navarro) April 13, 2016
16 lead changes, 19 ties, no team with a lead of more than 5 so far tonight— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) April 13, 2016
Got chills watching that Pistons playoff tickets promo.— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) April 13, 2016
Pistons will be No. 8 seed, to play Cavs #DetroitvsEverybody— Detroit Bad Boys ☠ (@detroitbadboys) April 13, 2016
SVG on tonight: "We just couldn't make plays, couldn't make shots ... I did like the fact that we kept fighting"— Detroit Pistons (@DetroitPistons) April 13, 2016
SVG says Reggie Jackson is day to day and they don't expect it to affect his playoff availability— Keith Langlois (@Keith_Langlois) April 13, 2016
The Pistons will play their final game of the 2015-16 NBA regular season Wednesday, in Cleveland.