Rip Hamilton Returns to Lead Pistons By Cavs

James has off night, but Cleveland still clinches playoff spot
By Mitch Pritchard,  Newser User
Posted Mar 30, 2008 12:35 AM CDT
Detroit Pistons center Rasheed Wallace, left, defends against a shot by Cleveland Cavaliers guard Sasha Pavlovic (3) of Serbia tonight. The Pistons beat the Cavaliers, 85-71.    (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
camera-icon View 4 more images

(Newser) – Richard Hamilton is back and that makes the already tough Detroit Pistons that much tougher. Hamilton scored 14 points and the Pistons cruised to an 85-71 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers tonight, reports the Associated Press. The Cavaliers still managed to clinch a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference when the New Jersey Nets lost to the Phoenix Suns.

LeBron James had one of his worst nights of the year with only 13 points, 5 assists and 5 turnovers. The Pistons dominated right from the start, as they opened with a 6-0 run and led 29-18 after the first quarter. Detroit expanded that to 49-33 at halftime and 72-50 after the third. Chauncey Billups and Jason Maxiell each scored 13 for Detroit, which has won three of its past four games.