Bucks eye second seed after routing Pistons

REUTERS

Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points with 13 rebounds and eight assists as the Bucks improved to 51-30 to tighten their grip on second place in the table.

The win leaves the Bucks in pole position to claim the second seeding heading into Sunday's final round of regular season fixtures.

Milwaukee will clinch the No.2 spot with a win over the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Sunday, while the Boston Celtics must beat the Memphis Grizzlies in their final game to have any chance of snatching second place.

Milwaukee, who beat the Celtics in a crucial game on Thursday, were always in control against the Pistons, owners of the second worst record in the conference at 23-57.

The Bucks led from start-to-finish, romping into a 30-8 lead after the first quarter and dominating thereafter, racing into a 32-point lead at one stage in the third quarter.

Antetokounmpo was one of six Bucks players in double figures, with Brook Lopez finishing with 17 points and Khris Middleton 15 points. 

George Hill, Pat Connaughton and Jrue Holiday all chipped in with 10 points apiece.

In other games with play-off ramifications on Friday, the Brooklyn Nets scored a crucial 118-107 win over Cleveland to leapfrog over the Cavaliers into seventh place overall.

It means that if Brooklyn win their final regular season game on Sunday against the eliminated Indiana Pacers, the Nets will host a home game in the play-in tournament on Tuesday -- possibly against Cleveland -- where a direct route into the playoffs will be on offer.

Kevin Durant's 36-point display led the Nets to victory on Friday, with Kyrie Irving and Bruce Brown finishing on 18 points apiece. 

Brown narrowly missed a triple double, with eight assists and 10 rebounds.
Darius Garland led the Cavaliers scorers with 31 points.


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