CHARLOTTE, N.C. — LaMelo Ball had 26 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, and the Charlotte Hornets routed the short-handed Orlando Magic 128-101 on Thursday night to get back on the right track after two lopsided losses.

Terry Rozier added 22 points as Charlotte pulled within one game of the Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets, who are tied for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with two games remaining in the regular season. The Hornets have already locked up a spot in the play-in tournament and are hoping to improve their seed.

The win assures Charlotte (41-39) its first non-losing season since 2015-16.

Chuma Okeke had 20 points and Moritz Wagner scored 17 for Orlando, which has lost seven of its last eight games.

The game included a shoving match between several players in the fourth quarter with the Hornets up by 25 points, resulting in Orlando’s Robin Lopez and Admiral Schofield and Charlotte’s Montrezl Harrell being ejected. Lopez and Schofield waved to the crowd as they left the floor.

Charlotte broke the previous franchise record for points scored (9,081) in a season, surpassing the mark set in the 2018-19 Hornets season.


RAPTORS 119, 76ERS 114: Pascal Siakam had 37 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds for his third career triple-double, Gary Trent Jr. scored 30 points and Toronto beat visiting Philadelphia.

Siakam shot 14 for 28, going 1 for 7 from 3-point range. He made 8 for 10 free throws.

Precious Achiuwa scored 20 points and made a career-high five 3-pointers, and Scottie Barnes had 13 points and 10 rebounds to help the Raptors win for the seventh time in eight games.

Joel Embiid had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and James Harden had 13 points and 15 assists for the 76ers, whose hopes of winning the Atlantic Division title took a hit.


NETS: Brooklyn waived veteran forward James Johnson on Thursday, opening a roster spot ahead of the postseason.


The move would allow the Nets to convert Kessler Edwards’ two-way contract to a standard NBA deal, making him eligible for the postseason. The second-round pick has become a regular part of the rotation.

Johnson signed with the Nets last summer and averaged 5.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 62 games, including 10 starts. He had missed the past two games with what the team said was an illness unrelated to COVID-19.

The Nets have two home games left before the play-in tournament begins next Tuesday. They will need to emerge from that to earn one of the final two seeds in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

76ERS: Philadelphia guard Matisse Thybulle was listed as ‘ineligible to play’ on the official NBA injury report for the 76ers’ game Thursday night at Toronto.

Thybulle, a defensive specialist, has not said publicly whether he is vaccinated against COVID-19. Unvaccinated foreign nationals are currently prohibited from entering Canada. Limited exemptions to the rule no longer apply to professional athletes.

As things stand, fourth-place Philadelphia and fifth-place Toronto would meet in the first round of the playoffs, leaving Thybulle in doubt for playoff games in Toronto. Each team has three regular-season games remaining.

“We don’t know who we’re playing yet, so we’ll just handle that when it comes,” 76ers Coach Doc Rivers said.

On Wednesday, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league has “no choice” but to comply with Canada’s entry rules.

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