Magic, Hornets boost playoff bids
LOS ANGELES, USA – The battle continued to rage for the last remaining berths as the Orlando Magic leapfrogged the Miami Heat for the 8th and final spot with a 104-99 victory at Miami in the NBA on Tuesday, March 26 (Wednesday, March 27, Manila time).
The Heat squandered an early 17 point lead and lost for the third time in 4 games this season against Orlando – which gives the Magic the playoff tiebreaker.
The defeat spoiled Miami's celebrations honoring former Heat star Chris Bosh, whose jersey No. 1 was retired at an emotional halftime ceremony.
But more importantly it dropped the Heat out of playoff position in 9th place in the East, just one game ahead of the 10th-placed Charlotte Hornets – who downed the San Antonio Spurs 125-116 in overtime.
STRAIGHT WINS pic.twitter.com/9RD4t4iCKS— Orlando Magic (@OrlandoMagic) March 27, 2019
Kemba Walker scored 11 of his 38 points in the extra session as the Hornets notched a fourth straight win.
They had lost all 4 of their previous overtime games this season.
Hornets 'still trying'
Charlotte withstood a 30-point game from Spurs guard DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge's 20 points and 15 rebounds.
"This was an unbelievable team effort," Walker said. "We executed our game plan, especially defensively, just to make it tough on DeMar and LaMarcus as much as possible."
With the regular season winding down, he called the win "super important."
"We're still trying to accomplish a goal here," he said of keeping the Hornets' playoff hopes alive. "Anything is possible."
"We wanted to win. That's just what we had to do. He had to be tough, get stops, force them to take tough shots... We really just battled on the glass. We really helped each other as a team tonight." - @KembaWalker after Tuesday's win over the San Antonio @Spurs pic.twitter.com/1Ap6I1hjKR— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) March 27, 2019