The Boston Celtics became the first NBA team to clinch a postseason berth, their first in three seasons, and the Detroit Pistons aren't far behind.
Kevin Garnett had a season-high 31 points, and three other Celtics scored in double figures, to help Boston earn a bruising 90-78 victory over Detroit, its closest competitor in the Eastern Conference.
Relative to .500, the Celtics are 30 games in the win column, better then last year and are the favorite to earn home court advantage throughout the playoffs. Wednesday night gave the C's the tie breaker over the Pistons if there is a tie.
Rasheed Wallace scored 23 for Detroit, Richard Hamilton scored 15, and Tayshaun Prince had 10 rebounds, seven points, and five assists.
The Pistons never led, falling behind 17-3 at the start but did work their way back to a 69-69 tie on Tayshaun Prince's putback for the first basket of the fourth quarter. But Garnett made a free throw, a jumper and a layup. But after Detroit cut it to 78-77, the Celtics scored 12 of the last 13 points.