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NBA: Pistons Beat Suns, Earn Playoff Home Court Advantage


The Detroit Pistons have earned home court advantage throughout the National Basketball Association conference playoffs, with a 109-102 over the Phoenix Suns.

Chauncey Billups scored 35 points for the NBA-leading Pistons, who clinched the best record in the Eastern Conference over the Miami Heat with nine remaining in the regular season.

The New Jersey Nets beat Miami Sunday for the Nets' 12th straight victory, led by Vince Carter with 43 points.

Dallas forward Dirk Nowitzki had 30 points and 12 rebounds as his Mavericks shellacked the Denver Nuggets 103-79, snapping a season-high three-game losing streak.

NBA leading scorer Kobe Bryant netted 43 points in the Los Angeles Lakers' 104-88 rout of the Houston Rockets. It is Bryant's 23rd 40-point game of the season.

Other NBA winners Sunday were the Timberwolves, Grizzlies, Cavaliers, 76ers, Hornets, SuperSonics and Kings.

The Minnesota Timberwolves edged the Golden State Warriors 106-104 in overtime, the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Atlanta Hawks 98-87, the Cleveland Cavaliers slipped past the Charlotte Bobcats 101-97, and the Philadelphia 76ers rough up the New York Knicks 114-95. The New Orleans Hornets took double over time to defeat the Toronto Raptors 120-113, the Seattle SuperSonics crushed the Portland Trail Blazers 122-83, and the Los Angeles Clippers fell 106-96 to the Sacramento Kings.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.
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