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BY MIKE KILLBREATH

 Posted December 6, 2017

​Pistons drop 105-102 heartbreaker to Toronto; Fade from playoff talk

   MILWAUKEE — The Detroit Pistons continued their losing ways in the NBA Wednesday night by dropping a 104-100 decision in Milwaukee to the Bucks. It was Detroit's fourth loss in a row to complete a four-game road trip. They saw their record fall to 14-10 and the Pistons now trail the first-place Cleveland Cavaliers by 3 1/2 games in the Eastern Conference's Central Division. They're also only one half game ahead of the Bucks who improved to 13-10 on the season.

   Detroit is in a 14-game stretch where facing only one team (the Phoenix Suns) with a record under .500. They're 4-7 so far in this tough portion of their schedule after a 10-3 start that saw them ahead of the Cavs and in first place in their division.

   It doesn't get easier for the Pistons when they return home on Friday night at Little Caesars Arena in Downtown Detroit. They face the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

   The only bright spot is that the champs will be without superstar Steph Curry in the lineup. He's out with an ankle injury.

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iami Heat take huge step toward playoff spot by winning at Charlotte to lead NBA highlights with Cleveland-Boston showdown of 50-victory teams, record 41st triple double by Russell Westbrook

   One night after Russell Westbrook matched Oscar Robertson's single-season NBA record with his 41st triple-double of the 2016-17 campaign, NBA fans turned their attention to the playoff races and a showdown of the Eastern Conference's 50-victory teams. Westbrook put on another show, too, in Oklahoma City. Here's a rundown of Wednesday's NBA action:

   WESTBROOK'S 45 POINTS led the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 103-100 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies as he came up one rebound short of yet another triple double. Westbrook passed out 10 assists with 9 rebounds. He was also the late hero in the game when nailing a key 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to give the Thunder a 101-97 advantage.

   Westbrook now has four games to go in his bid to break the triple double record set by Robertson during the 1961-62 season.

   The Grizzlies were trying to clinch a playoff spot in the Western Conference with a road victory, but did it anyway when the Denver Nuggets lost. Memphis is No. 7 and losing at Oklahoma City ended any hopes of overtaking the Thunder for the sixth spot. Marc Gasol led Memphis with 23 points and Zach Randolph added 20 points and 9 rebounds.

​   THE DEEFNDING CHAMPION Cleveland Cavaliers won the battle of 50-victory teams by beating Boston 114-91 behind LeBron James. He rifled in 36 points, snared 10 rebounds and passed out 6 assists to lead the Cavaliers in their return to the top spot atop the East. The Cavs now hold a one-game edge over the Celtics with four games left, and they also own the tiebreaker.

   ''Just trying to get our team right going down the stretch brings out the best in me,'' James said in the post-game interview with the media. ''We knew we were coming to a hostile building tonight and just wanted to try and play our game ... and we did that.''

   Kyrie Irving added 19 points for the Cavaliers and dished out 5 assists. Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 26 points.

   THE MIAMI HEAT took a huge step toward getting in on the Eastern Conference side by beating the Charlotte Hornets 112-99 Wednesday night. The Hornets could have tied the Heat and Chicago Bulls in the victory column by winning on home court, but Miami instead pulled dead even for the No. 7 spot with the Bulls. Only the top eight teams make the playoffs in each conference, and Miami now controls its own destiny by holding the tiebreaker nod over the No. 9 Indiana Pacers.

   The Pacers, Heat and Bulls all have 38 victories, and also still alive in the playoff race but barely clinging to life are Charlotte with 36 victories and the Detroit Pistons with 35 victories. Everybody has four games remaining, except Charlotte with only three ballgames remaining.

   Goran Dragic scored 33 points to lead the Heat in their big victory Wednesday night on the road, with James Johnson who pumped in 26 points while featuring deadly 6-of-7 accuracy from 3-point land. Johnson led Miami's franchise record night of 21 bombs connecting from behind the 3-point arc.

   THE DENVER NUGGETS were beaten 110-104 on their home floor to miss out on a chance to pull even with idle Portland in the race for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

   James Harden poured in 31 points to lead the Rockets as they nailed own the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference. It was a big night in his return to the lineup after missing his first game of the season because of sickness on Sunday.

   ''I can walk and talk now,'' Harden told reporters after the game. ''I was on bed rest for a couple of days just because I couldn't really talk, couldn't move. I had the shakes. But I'm back. So I'm good.''  

   THE LOS ANGELES LAKERS never trailed in beating the San Antonio Spurs 102-95 behind Tyler Ennis with 19 points in his first start of the season. Ennis replaced injured D'Angelo Russell in the sarting lineup, and was impressive in leading the team with the NBA's worst record to an upset over the Spurs who have won 60 games this season. Only the Golden State Warriors haev won more. 

   Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich rested two of his starters in the second half, however, as he opted to rest both Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge.

   THE WARRIORS WON No. 65 by beating the Phoenix Suns 120-111 to clinch the NBA's best record for the second straight season. They are 65-14, and got victory No. 65 behind Steph Curry's 42-point explosion to delight the usual noisy and rowdy home crowd.

   Curry's show came with Coach Steve Kerr resting stars Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala and Kevin Durant still one game away from returning from an injury.

   BLAKE GRIFFIN once again powered the Los Angeles Clippers to victory as they moved within a half game of the idle Utah Jazz for the No. 4 playoff seed in the Western Conference after beating the Dallas Mavericks 112-101. It was the eighth victory for the Clippers in their last 10 starts.

​​   Griffin scored 32 points — his third straight game with at least 31 points. J.J. Redick added 25 points for the Clippers, Chris Paul scored 22 points and passed out 11 assists and DeAndre Jordan grabbed 20 rebounds.

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My AM Advantage 

Posted November 21, 2016

​Detroit Pistons need to send a message to VanGundy's kind to leave politics out of sports; Bad coaching demands firing anyway

   AUBURN HILLS —  A friend offered me four free tickets and a free parking pass to see the Detroit Pistons tonight. That's the only way I would go without utilizing my press pass privileges to get in for free. Consider me on strike against the Pistons until owner Tom Gores fires Stan VanGundy as his general manager and head coach. Click Here to Read More

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Posted November 21, 2016

​Detroit Pistons need to send a message to VanGundy's kind to leave politics out of sports; Bad coaching demands firing anyway

   AUBURN HILLS —  A friend offered me four free tickets and a free parking pass to see the Detroit Pistons tonight. That's the only way I would go without utilizing my press pass privileges to get in for free. Consider me on strike against the Pistons until owner Tom Gores fires Stan VanGundy as his general manager and head coach. Click Here to Read More