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Pistons beat Bulls, Pacers clinch Central Division

The Pacers clinched their first Central Division championship since the 2003-04 season.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

After a discouraging start to the weekend, the Indiana Pacers had a productive night off on Sunday as they were able to sit at home and clinch their first Central Division title since the 2003-04 season. The Detroit Pistons finished strong to beat the Chicago Bulls at the Palace, 99-85 which locked up the division title for the Pacers.

All hail Brandon Knight and his 20 points and a strong effort off the bench by Jonas Jerebko with 17 points and 10 rebounds which pushed the Pistons to the win. The Pacers missed their two chances to clinch the Central on their own terms with double-digit losses to the Oklahoma City Thunder and Washington Wizards.

But in reality, how the clinching moment went down doesn't matter. The Pacers earned the division title by cranking up their level of play in early December and never looking back. With the division locked up, the Pacers have a more important task remaining in the regular season which is to hold on to at least the No. 3 seed in the East.