Final - OT
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Pistons-Cavaliers Preview

Apr 13, 2016 - 9:24 PM The Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons are about to see plenty of one another, therefore expect neither to show its cards during a now-meaningless regular-season finale.

The Cavaliers will rest all but two of their five starters, and the Pistons could give some regulars the night off Wednesday in a prelude to the teams' opening-round playoff series.

LeBron James, Kevin Love and J.R. Smith will all sit this one out after helping Cleveland (57-24) clinch the East's No. 1 seed with Monday's 109-94 win over Atlanta. The only Cavs starters expected to play are Kyrie Irving and Tristan Thompson, but that may only be to keep alive his consecutive games played streak, currently at 369.

Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy could follow suit with his stars with Detroit (43-38) locked into the eighth seed and a matchup with the Cavaliers following Tuesday's 99-93 home loss to Miami.

The Pistons could have surpassed Indiana by winning their final two games and if the Pacers lost at Milwaukee on Wednesday. Still, an opportunity to face the East's defending champions in the franchise's first postseason trip since 2009 remains appealing.

"Nobody's picking us anyway. They're supposed to be the title contenders from the East. If we're not favored anyway we might as well get a crack at them, right?," guard Reggie Jackson said. "I don't want to fight Goliath's homeboy or little brother, I want to go and fight Goliath. I think that's how this locker room feels."

Detroit has reason to be confident despite its lack of experience relative to the playoff-tested Cavaliers. The Pistons have won two of three previous meetings between the Central Division rivals this season, including a 96-88 victory in Cleveland on Feb. 22 in which James was held to a season low-tying 12 points on 5-of-18 shooting.

James has been much tougher to stop of late, having averaged 28.4 points, 8.5 assists and 8.0 rebounds while shooting 62.0 percent over a noticeably focused 10-game stretch. The four-time MVP was in top form during Monday's clincher, finishing 13 of 16 from the field and amassing 34 points in three quarters against one of the league's best defensive teams.

''I hope he can keep it up,'' Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said. ''If he plays like this, man, we're going to be tough to beat. He's just taken it to a whole other level the last three or four weeks, playing at a very high level, shooting the ball very well, shooting it with confidence and also getting it to the basket."

Irving also appears to be ready after matching a season high with 35 points against Atlanta and bouncing back from a 5-of-17, 11-point performance in Saturday's 105-102 loss at Chicago.

Detroit received a taste of a playoff-like atmosphere Tuesday against a Heat team still in the mix for a Southeast Division title. Despite missing Jackson due to an abdominal strain, the Pistons trailed by one midway through the fourth quarter before Joe Johnson scored eight straight to help Miami pull away.

Jackson, coming off a 39-point effort in Friday's playoff-clinching 112-99 win over Washington, is expected to return for Game 1. Detroit's leading scorer had 23 points and three of the Pistons' 10 steals in the Feb. 22 victory.

Irving had 30 that night and 28 in a 114-106 win at Detroit on Jan. 29. He missed a 104-99 road loss to the Pistons on Nov. 17 while still recovering from last June's fractured kneecap.

One player who should see some time for the Cavs is guard Dahntay Jones, who was signed Wednesday and is eligible for the playoffs. The 11-year veteran spent this season playing for Grand Rapids in the NBA Development League.

"It's an amazing opportunity," Jones said.