By Mike Cranston
CHARLOTTE ó Gerald Henderson scored 20 points, D.J. Augustin added 17 points and seven assists and the Charlotte Bobcats sent the Atlanta Hawks to the playoffs on a six-game losing streak with a 96-85 victory Wednesday night.
Closing a tumultuous season that saw a coaching change, a major trade and no repeat playoff appearance, the Bobcats built a 20-point second-quarter lead and withstood Atlantaís reserve-fueled second-half run to finish with a two-game winning streak.
The Bobcats put five players in double figures and shot 50 percent despite playing an eighth straight game without top scorer Stephen Jackson (hamstring). Dressing only nine players for the seventh straight game, the Bobcats earned a season split with the Hawks.
The victory came a few hours after a rare media session in which owner Michael Jordan insisted that ěbarring injuries we would have been in the playoffs.î But Charlotte went just 9-16 after trading former All-Star Gerald Wallace, a deal that netted two first-round picks and opened salary-cap space.
ěWe donít have to sit on our hands this summer,î Jordan said.
Mavericks 121, Hornets 89
DALLAS ó Dirk Nowitzki scored 12 of his 32 points in the decisive third quarter, leading Dallas past New Orleans in the regular-season finale ó and leaving both teams waiting a few hours for their playoff seed and first-round foe to be determined.
Dallas will be seeded second or third in the Western Conference, depending on whether the Lakers beat the Kings later Wednesday. Los Angeles would be No. 2 if it wins.
Bulls 97, Nets 92
CHICAGO ó Kyle Korver scored 19 points, Derrick Rose added 15 and the Chicago Bulls closed the regular season with their ninth straight victory, beating the New Jersey Nets 97-92 on Wednesday.
Heat 97, Raptors 79
TORONTO ó Eddie House scored a career-high 35 points, Juwan Howard added 18 and the Miami Heat beat the Toronto Raptors 97-79 on Wednesday night in the regular-season finale.
Celtics 112, Knicks 102
BOSTON ó Avery Bradley scored a career-high 20 points to help Boston’s “B” team beat New York’s second string in a regular-season finale both teams used to rest their starters, instead of as a tuneup for their first-round playoff matchup.
Magic 92, Pacers 74
ORLANDO, Fla. ó Ryan Anderson scored 14 points, and Dwight Howard had 13 points and 13 rebounds in a short night in Orlando’s victory over Indiana.
Bucks 110, Thunder 106, OT
OKLAHOMA CITY ó Brandon Jennings scored 16 points and Milwaukee sent Michael Redd into free agency with a victory over Oklahoma City.
Jazz 107, Nuggets 103
SALT LAKE CITY ó Rookie Gordon Hayward scored a career-high 34 points and hit five 3-pointers to lift Utah past playoff-bound Denver.
Pistons 104, 76ers 100
PHILADELPHIA ó Rodney Stuckey scored 29 points, and Tayshaun Prince had 14 to help Detroit hand playoff-bound Philadelphia its fifth loss in six games.
Jrue Holiday led the 76ers with 21 points. They will open the playoffs against Miami.
Cavaliers 100, Wizards 93
CLEVELAND ó Ramon Sessions scored 27 points, J.J. Hickson added 15 and Cleveland closed out one of the worst seasons in franchise history ó and first in eight years without LeBron James.
Rockets 121, Timberwolves 102
MINNEAPOLIS ó Chase Budinger scored a career-high 35 points and Kevin Martin added 25 for Houston.