AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) -Richard Hamilton returned to the lineup and scored 14 points, leading the Detroit Pistons to an 85-71 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.
The Cavs did, however, clinch a spot in the playoffs because the New Jersey Nets lost to the Phoenix Suns.
LeBron James had a lackluster night with 13 points on 4-of-17 shooting with five assists and five turnovers. Ben Wallace, in his first game at The Palace since joining the Cavs, was back on the court after missing two-plus games with back spams. But he didn't last long, needing help to go to the locker room after his back injury flared up.
Chauncey Billups and reserve Jason Maxiell each scored 13 while Tayshaun Prince and Antonio McDyess had 12 points apiece for the Pistons, who have won three of four. Hamilton had missed three games with a sore hip.
Suns 110, Nets 104
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP)- Amare Stoudemire had 33 points and 15 rebounds and Phoenix moved into a first-place tie with the Los Angeles Lakers in the Pacific Division.
Leandro Barbosa added 21 points, Shaquille O'Neal had 17 points and seven rebounds and Steve Nash chipped in with 10 points and 11 assists as the Suns won their second game in two nights and their ninth in 11 games.
Vince Carter had 30 points to lead the Nets, who lost for the second straight night to fall two games behind Atlanta in the race for the final playoff berth in the Eastern Conference. New Jersey has eight games left, two less than the Hawks.
Bulls 114, Bucks 111
CHICAGO (AP) - Rookie Joakim Noah scored a season-high 18 points and had 15 rebounds to help Chicago hold on after nearly squandering a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter.
Larry Hughes scored 19 points and Luol Deng added 16 to help the Bulls win for just the fourth time in 12 games. Chicago pulled 3 1/2 games behind eighth-place Atlanta for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Michael Redd scored 33 points to lead the Bucks, who lost for the 12 time in 14 games in March. Charlie Villanueva scored 15 of this 26 points in the third quarter, and Mo Williams added 13 points for Milwaukee.
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