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Hayes leads balanced attack as Pistons sweep Wolves

Apr 16, 2008 - 4:04 AM AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (Ticker) -- Jarvis Hayes scored 20 points off the bench as the Detroit Pistons completed a season sweep of the Minnesota Timberwolves with a 115-103 victory on Tuesday night.

Richard Hamilton had 18 points and four steals and Chauncey Billups scored 17 for the Pistons (58-23), who locked up the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage if they reach the NBA Finals.

"It's nice that we have it (home-court advantage), but I didn't think it was necessary," Pistons coach Flip Saunders said. "The way that it goes 2-3-2, I don't know how much it means either way."

Detroit will host the Philadelphia 76ers (40-41) on Sunday in the opening round of the playoffs. The Pistons and Sixers split their four meetings this season.

"I think we're in a great spot right now," Billups said. "Our bench is playing really well, the starters are healthy and we're ready to go."

With the game tied at 40-40 in the second quarter, Lindsey Hunter drilled a 19-footer to spark a 12-3 surge to close out the half to make it 52-43 at intermission.

"What hurt us was the end of the first half," Timberwolves coach Randy Wittman said. "We should have been down six at the worst, and we end up down nine. We could have been within three or four, so I feel good about that half. At the end, their bench just shot the lights out on us."

Hamilton's jumper created a 16-point lead just seconds into the fourth the Pistons. However, the Timberwolves battled back within 101-96 on a pair of free throws by Al Jefferson at the 3:46 mark.

But Minnesota would not get any close as rookie Rodney Stuckey fed Amir Johnson for a two-handed jam to restore order at 107-97 with 1:47 remaining.

Detroit, which travels to Cleveland for its season finale on Wednesday, shot nearly 50 percent (40-of-79) from the field.

Jefferson dazzled with 30 points and nine boards before fouling out for Minnesota, which fell to 8-33 away from the Target Center this season.

The Timberwolves, who closes out the season at home against Milwaukee on Wednesday, finished just 1-14 in road games against East.