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Hornets top Wizards 124-108, prepare for play-in tournament game against Atlanta

Charlotte wrapped up the regular season with 43 wins.
Credit: AP
Charlotte Hornets forward Cody Martin (11) shoots past Washington Wizards center Vernon Carey Jr. (22) during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Sunday, April 10, 2022, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Rusty Jones)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Hornets beat the Washington Wizards 124-108 on Sunday behind 25 points from Terry Rozier and 24 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists from LaMelo Ball, but were unable to improve their seed heading into the Eastern Conference play-in tournament.

The Hornets finished the regular season 43-39 — 10 more wins than a year ago in an abbreviated 72-game season — and will be the 10th seed for the second straight year.

Charlotte will travel to face Trae Young and the ninth-seeded Atlanta Hawks on Wednesday night. The winner advances to face the loser of the Cleveland-Brooklyn game for an opportunity to face the top-seeded Miami Heat in the first round of the playoffs.

Charlotte could have moved up to high as the seventh seed had Brooklyn, Cleveland and Atlanta all lost on Sunday. However, all three teams closed the regular season with victories, rending the outcome of Charlotte’s win meaningless in the big picture.

The Hornets enter the play-in tournament riding a three-game winning streak.

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Charlotte is hoping to learn from its past experience after losing 144-117 to the Indiana Pacers in the play-in tournament last year.

The Hornets had to fight to win their third straight game, getting a late third quarter push from third-string point guard Isaiah Thomas (14 points) and 18 fourth quarter points from Rozier. Rozier and Ball combined to shoot 11 of 16 from 3-point range.

Washington had cut Charlotte's lead to 93-90 in the fourth quarter before Rozier got hot, scoring 15 points as part of a 20-9 run to break the game open.

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Rui Hachimura had 21 points and Corey Kispert added 20 points for the Wizards (35-47), who failed to make the postseason for the third time in the last four seasons.

TIP INS

Wizards: Allowed the Hornets to shoot 53.9% from the field.

Hornets: Gordon Hayward will be out indefinitely with continued discomfort in his left foot, the team announced. Hayward’s foot will be placed in a cast to immobilize his foot and he will be re-evaluated in approximately two weeks.

UP NEXT

Wizards: Season is over.

Hornets: At Atlanta on Wednesday night for the play-in tournament at 7 p.m.

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