Hornets Need Help To Make Playoffs With One Game Left
Photo Credit: NBA.COM
CLEVELAND (AP) -- With one game left, the Charlotte Hornets are still in the playoff chase.
There's hope, not heartache.
Kemba Walker scored 23 points and Charlotte kept its late-season postseason push going by pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 124-97 win Tuesday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, whose painful first season rebuilding without LeBron James is finally over.
The Hornets (39-42) were in a must-win situation if they wanted to beat out Detroit and Miami for the No. 8 spot in the Eastern Conference. They did their part and must now defeat Orlando - and former Charlotte coach Steve Clifford - at home on Wednesday and hope the Pistons (39-42) lose in New York to clinch their first playoff berth in three years.
''It felt good, man,'' said Walker. ''We had great energy and great togetherness. We really wanted to win this game.''
They really wanted the Pistons to lose, too.
But Detroit rallied from a 22-point deficit to to beat Memphis 100-93, eliminating Miami from the playoff chase and setting up a dramatic final day of the season.
Once they finished off the Cavs, Walker and several teammates watched the end of Detroit's game on a TV in their locker room. After the Pistons came back, Walker dejectedly shook his head as he walked from his locker to the shower area.
''We knew they were down 20 at one point but we also knew they were at home and they would make a run,'' Walker said. ''They played tough down the stretch and got a big win.''
Jeremy Lamb added 23 points and Miles Bridges and Dwayne Bacon scored 18 apiece as the Hornets won their fourth straight.