East Notes: Hornets, Magic, Celtics, Pistons


Coach Steve Clifford said injured point guard LaMelo Ball (ankle) and forwards Gordon Hayward (shoulder) and Cody Martin (quad) are working their way toward returns, though offered no timetable.

“All three of them, they’re all doing everything they can. I get people who stop me on the street (and ask me),” Clifford told reporters. “They’re in there, they come back (in the gym) at night, they’re doing double. They’re closer. They’re doing everything they can do.”

  • TMZ detailed an incident involving forward Miles Bridges, in which his ex attempted to break into his home with a hose nozzle and took his dog. Bridges remains a restricted free agent.


Forward Franz Wagner said the Magic showed some resiliency in beating the Mavericks without injured center Paolo Banchero, who leads all NBA rookies in scoring (23.5) and rebounding average (8.3).

“We have everything to prove as a group and also as individual players,” Wagner told reporters. “We weren’t satisfied with our performance the other day against Houston … we want to be a resilient team. We have to get better at finishing games, playing through mistakes and stuff like that.”

  • Banchero suffered a sprained ankle on Monday, but the Magic are hopeful he’ll be able to return for Friday’s game against the visiting Suns on Friday, per the AP.


Second-year forward Sam Hauser has seen increased playing time in his second season under interim coach Joe Mazzulla, and Hauser responded with a career-high 24 points in a win over the Pistons.

“Little by little I’m earning more trust from Joe,” Hauser told reporters. “I’ve still got to keep doing things to earn minutes out there and earning a spot in the rotation.”

  • The Celtics are first in the NBA in offensive rating, with the Cavaliers, Jazz, Suns and Nuggets rounding out the top five, respectively.


  • The Pistons play seven of their next nine on the road, beginning with Friday’s visit to the Knicks. So far, they have lost all six road games.
  • Coach Dwane Casey said that injured shooting guard Alec Burks (knee) could make his season debut on Friday. Burks spent the first eight years of his career with the Jazz, but the Pistons are his sixth team since 2018.

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