OKLAHOMA CITY – The Detroit Pistons had Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Oklahoma City Thunder had Kevin Durant. Even on a career night for Caldwell-Pope, advantage Oklahoma City.
Durant scored 42 points, including 21 in the fourth quarter, and the Thunder secured the No. 2 playoff seed in the Western Conference, rallying from 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Pistons 112-111 Wednesday night.
Oklahoma City (59-23) had lost two straight to put itself in the must-win situation in the regular-season finale to earn the No. 2 seed.
Durant rallied the Thunder while recording his 14th 40-point game of the season. He drove for the go-ahead dunk with 16.5 seconds left and won a tip over Greg Monroe with 1.8 seconds to go after a scramble for a loose ball resulted in a jump ball in Detroit’s end. The Pistons’ Brandon Jennings could only manage a 9.1-meter heave at the buzzer that banged off the rim.
“We just figured it out,” said Durant, who won his fourth NBA scoring title (32.0 points per game. “We got it done. It wasn’t the best game.
“We didn’t play well defensively. We didn’t shoot the ball well offensively. . . . It was a tough game, we persevered and we got a good win.”
Russell Westbrook added 22 points for Oklahoma City, which will play Memphis in the first round of the playoffs.
Caldwell-Pope scored 30 points for the Pistons (29-53).
Detroit led 94-84 with 10:13 left in the game after a basket by Monroe.
But Durant’s offensive flurry cut into that gap and the Pistons didn’t score a basket in the final 3:17 or at all after Jennings hit two of three free throws with 2:07 left.
Wizards 118, Celtics 102
In Boston, Bradley Beal scored 27 points and Washington clinched the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference with a win over the Celtics.
The Wizards will be facing Chicago in their first playoff appearance since 2008.
Cavaliers 114, Nets 85
In Cleveland, Brooklyn coach Jason Kidd sat his starters for the playoffs and the Nets closed the regular season with a loss that dropped them to the No. 6 seed in the East.
Knicks 95, Raptors 92
In New York, the Knicks finished their disappointing season with a victory and Toronto blew a 21-point lead but earned the No. 3 seed in the East playoffs.
Bobcats 91, Bulls 86 (OT)
In Charlotte, Kemba Walker scored eight of his 22 points in overtime to help the hosts defeat Chicago.
Pacers 101, Magic 86
In Orlando, Rasual Butler and Chris Copeland each scored 19 points as Indiana rested key players and still cruised.
76ers 100, Heat 87
In Miami, Thaddeus Young scored 20 points and Michael Carter-Williams had 12 in the final game of his impressive rookie campaign for Philadelphia.
Dwyane Wade scored 16 points in 23 minutes for the Heat (54-28).
Hawks 111, Bucks 103
In Milwaukee, Mike Scott scored 17 points and Atlanta ended the regular season by beating the Bucks, who finished with an NBA-worst 15-67 record.
Grizzlies 106, Mavs 105 (OT)
In Memphis, Mike Conley hit two free throws with 1.1 seconds left in overtime, and the Grizzlies grabbed the Western Conference’s No. 7 seed away from Dallas.
Pelicans 105, Rockets 100
In New Orleans, Tyreke Evans had 25 points and 10 assists, and the Pelicans closed out a difficult season with a crowd-pleasing victory.
Lakers 113, Spurs 100
In San Antonio, Jordan Hill had 18 points and 14 rebounds and the Lakers (27-55) closed their worst season since they moved to Los Angeles with a victory over the Spurs.
Jazz 136, T-Wolves 130 (2OT)
In Minneapolis, Trey Burke scored a career-high 32 points to go with nine assists and seven rebounds and the Jazz avoided their worst record since moving to Utah 35 years ago.
Suns 104, Kings 99
In Sacramento, Archie Goodwin scored 12 of his career-high 29 points in the fourth quarter for Phoenix.
Blazers 110, Clippers 104
In Portland, Will Barton had a career-high 23 points and 10 rebounds and the Trail Blazers beat Los Angeles with both teams resting key players in advance of the playoffs.
Warriors 116, Nuggets 112
In Denver, Jordan Crawford scored a career-high 41 points and Harrison Barnes added 30 as a squad of Golden State backups beat the Nuggets.