The Hornets are making a strong run toward the playoffs, putting themselves in the conversation for more than just the play-in tournament. They have won six of seven, including Friday’s hard-fought home win over the Jazz.
“That’s a high-caliber, championship-level team, so for us to execute in a close game (against them) speaks volumes about our team and how far we’ve come,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “The growth, the resiliency and the togetherness. … I’m really proud of our guys.”
- Charlotte has been doing it without Gordon Hayward, who has missed 19 straight games with a sprained left ankle. All that Hornets have said on Hayward is that he is “progressing.”
Despite looking as if they’re bound for the play-in tournament, the Hawks still have time to make something special of the season, coach Nate McMillan said after Friday’s win over the Warriors.
“There’s still time for us to get that rhythm, get that mojo back and a game like this — coming out with that focus and playing with that attitude that’s necessary — we can certainly can get that going,” McMillan said.
The Hawks (37-37) are one year removed from reaching the Eastern Conference finals, but are currently in 10th place in the conference through Friday.
- Overall, they have won 15 of 18 at home and have been doing it without the services of starting power forward John Collins — who is still bothered by a right finger sprain and right foot strain. He missed his eighth straight game on Friday and there is no timetable for his return.
The Heat have been stumbling toward the finish, riding a three-game losing streak after Friday’s upset defeat at home vs. the Knicks. They still sat in first in the East through Friday, but their lead over the 76ers and Bucks had dwindled to half a game.
- In case you missed it, the Heat signed guard Michael Mulder to a two-way contract, waiving guard Kyle Guy to make room on the roster. “Mulder, 27, joins guard Javonte Smart as the Heat’s current two two-way contract players. Players on two-way deals are not eligible to participate in the playoffs, but they can still train and travel with the team during the postseason,” wrote Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald.