• 63°

NBA: Season ends as Hornets fall to Magic

Hornets' hopes for playoffs end with loss, Detroit win

Charlotte Hornets’ Kemba Walker (15) drives against Orlando Magic’s Khem Birch (24) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Wednesday, April 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)

By Steve Reed

AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE (AP) — Kemba Walker scored 43 points in what may be his final game with Charlotte, a 122-114 loss to the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night that eliminated the Hornets from playoff contention on the final day of the regular season.

Terrence Ross scored a season-high 35 points, Aaron Gordon added 27 and the Magic clinched the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs and will face the Toronto Raptors in the first round.

The Hornets entered the night needing a win and a Detroit loss to the New York Knicks to clinch the final playoff spot in the East.

Aside from Walker’s sharp shooting, nothing went right for Charlotte.

The Knicks, the worst team in the NBA, didn’t put up much of a fight, losing by 26 at home to the Pistons. Charlotte had its four-game winning streak snapped by the Magic, led by their former head coach Steve Clifford.

Walker, a three-time All-Star, is a free agent and faces an uncertain future after eight seasons with the franchise.

If this was his curtain call in Charlotte, Walker certainly left Hornets fans with a memory of what they’ll miss. The franchise’s leading scorer was 16 of 25 from the field and had five assists. He received a standing ovation and a hug from coach James Borrego as he left with 1:06 remaining.

“MVP!” chants for Walker started midway through the fourth quarter after he scored his 39th point, and he spent a few extra minutes on the floor after the game hugging almost everyone before heading to the locker room.

Orlando, which clinched a playoff spot earlier this week, shot 54.5 percent from the field and got 18 points from D.J. Augustin.

The loss also means Tony Parker’s string of 17 straight playoff appearances is over. Parker didn’t have a say in the outcome and hasn’t played in the team’s last 13 games as Borrego elected to go with younger players.


Magic: Outscored the Hornets in bench points 51-35.

Hornets: Miles Bridges didn’t wait long to turn in the play of the game, soaring well above the rim for alley-oop dunk to give Charlotte and early 2-0 lead.


Magic: Will face Raptors in the first round of the playoffs.

Hornets: Season over.


High School

West smashes South 55-16


Biden says $3.5 trillion rebuilding plan has hit ‘stalemate’


Court rules sex offenders can be monitored perpetually; General Assembly law limits tracking to 10 years


R. Kelly fate in jury’s hands at sex trafficking trial

High School

High school football: Hornets romp; North loses key road game


Supporters of man freed from prison seek Cooper pardon


Rowan County’s COVID-19 death toll tops 40 for September


Catawba-Wingate football game canceled


Blotter: Sept. 24


Crowd turns out to raise money for hospitalized sheriff’s deputy


COVID-19 death tally continues rising, now at 391 in Rowan County


‘No winners’: Mason found guilty in fish arcade murder trial


Dixonville task force working to engrave names, quotes at cemetery


Stage set for COVID-19 booster shots


Family finds unknown woman’s body in mother’s casket


A third of workers in Cooper order not vaccinated


Remains of WWII soldier from North Carolina identified, will be buried in Robeson County

High School

State officials reach deal on prep sports governing, but details remain to be worked out


Mason found guilty in deadly fish arcade shooting


Blotter: Men stripped, robbed en route to buy beer


Jury begins deliberations in Fishzilla murder case


East Rowan culinary students feed staff who helped build new classroom

Local Events

Rowan County Fair makes pandemic return Friday with COVID-19 protocols in place


Education briefs: Schultz selected to NCDPI’s Teacher Leadership Council