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DeRozan leads Raptors into playoffs; Rockets prevail
March 09, 2018
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Los Angeles: DeMar DeRozan exploded for 42 points as the Toronto Raptors clinched their place in the NBA playoffs with a 121-119 overtime victory against the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday.

DeRozan added six assists and four rebounds in a virtuoso performance that hauled the Raptors back from the brink of what would have been an upset loss against the Pistons.

Toronto improved to 47-17 with the win, which tightened their grip on first place in the Eastern Conference standings and made them the first team to guarantee their spot in the postseason.

Detroit fell to 29-36 with the defeat, leaving them just outside the playoff positions in ninth place, five wins adrift of the Milwaukee Bucks in the eighth spot. New Pistons arrival Blake Griffin had tied it at 119-119 with 37.3 seconds left in overtime, but Detroit were unable to find the go-ahead score.

Elsewhere, James Harden scored 26 points as the Houston Rockets rolled to a 17th straight victory with a 110-99 win over the Bucks in Miami.

MVP front-runner Harden pulled down five rebounds and six assists as the Western Conference leaders extended their winning streak to improve to 51-13.

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