Hornets top Magic 122-112, inch closer to play-in tournament

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Terry Rozier scored 28 points, LaMelo Ball added 27 points and the Charlotte Hornets inched closer to securing a spot in the play-in tournament with a 122-112 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

The Hornets needed a win and a loss by Chicago to Boston to clinch a berth, but the Bulls beat the Celtics 121-99. Charlotte can clinch a spot in the play-in tournament with a win Sunday against New Orleans.

P.J. Washington had another strong shooting night and finished with 23 points and nine rebounds, while Bismack Biyombo had 11 points and 11 rebounds as Charlotte (33-34) bounced back from a 21-point drubbing by the Bulls on Thursday night.

Dwayne Bacon tied a career high with 26 points and Mo Bamba had a career-best 18 rebounds to lead the Magic (21-46). Cole Anthony had 22 points.

The Magic led for the better part of three quarters, but Ball began to assert himself with series of aggressive drives through the lane and some nifty no-look passes to set up teammates with easy buckets. Using his quick first step, Ball drove and delivered a one-handed, no-look dish to Rozier on the right wing set up a 3 that put the Hornets ahead by 10 with 8:24 left in the game.

Ball continued to struggle with his 3-point shot though, missing all seven attempts.

Orlando never mounted a serious challenge after that.

Washington had another strong shooting night from beyond the arc. After going 6 of 8 from 3-point range Thursday night, Washington finished 4 of 6 from beyond the arc against the Magic.


Magic: Allowed the Hornets to score a season-high 68 points in the paint. … Shot 41.8% from the field.

Hornets: G Malik Monk played only nine minutes before aggravating his right ankle injury. Monk returned earlier this week after missing 15 games with a sprained ankle. … New University of North Carolina basketball coach Hubert Davis attended the game, as did his predecessor Roy Williams.


Magic: Host Timberwolves on Sunday in their final home game of the year. They close the season with four games on the road.

Hornets: Host Pelicans on Sunday.

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