Jefferson scores 26, Hornets beat Magic 117-103


jefferson magic

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) _ Al Jefferson scored 26 points as the playoff-bound Charlotte Hornets closed out their best regular season in 16 years with a 117-103 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night.

Troy Daniels added 13 points and Spencer Hawes and Jeremy Lamb had 12 each for Charlotte, which finished the regular season 48-34 _ the fifth-most wins in franchise history.

Charlotte’s first-round playoff opponent has yet to be determined.

The Hornets are looking to end a long playoff drought. They haven’t won a series _ or even a playoff game _ since the 2001-02 season. They were swept by Miami two years ago.

Evan Fournier and Aaron Gordon each had 22 points for the Magic, who finished the season 35-47.

The Hornets won despite coach Steve Clifford playing the bottom five players on the roster _ Jorge Gutierrez, Aaron Harrison, Tyler Hansbrough, Hawes and Daniels _ for almost the entire fourth quarter.