The Race For 8th

Yes, NCAA March Madness was all over the basketball radar all weekend, but the NBA’s Southeast Division gave us plenty of things to talk about in the 72 hours over the weekend. So let’s catch you back up on what you missed in the race for eighth in the Eastern Conference.

Friday Night:

Miami Loses Big On The Road

Miami entered the weekend attempting to distance themselves from both Orlando and Charlotte. With only one game on the schedule, Miami needed to beat the conference leading Milwaukee Bucks on the road and let everyone else help out. Well, that didn’t workout the way the Heat and their fans wanted it to.

The Bucks were up by a point after the opening quarter and Giannis Antetokounmpo took the game over. He went on a personal 9-2 run to extend a 2 point game into a blowout.

Orlando Finds A Way

If you missed out on the Magic’s Friday Night game against the Memphis Grizzlies, check out the game summary here:

Now Orlando is a game back of the Miami, with their next game not until Monday against the Philadelphia 76ers.

In Charlotte:

The Hornets had Friday night off as they prepared for a back-to-back against Boston and Toronto.

Saturday Night:

Charlotte trailed by 18 points in the fourth quarter and it looked like the Hornets playoff hopes were about to go up in smoke. But their All-Star guard wouldn’t allow that outcome to happen.

Charlotte’s victory and both Miami and Orlando having the night off allowed the Hornets to gain a half a game on both in the playoff race.

Sunday Night:

If Charlotte’s Saturday night wasn’t impressive enough, what happened last night was even better. On the road against the Toronto Raptors and with Walker having a bad shooting night, it didn’t look for the Hornets. Especially after Kwahi Leonard blocked Kemba’s attempt to take the lead with 32 seconds left in the game.

The Hornets played outstanding defense in closing moments and Leonard missed a shot to give the Raptors as 3 point lead. Devonte Graham grabbed the rebound and Charlotte had one final chance to win the game. But I don’t think this was the play that was drawn up.

With both Miami and Orlando off again, Charlotte is now down 2 games to Miami for the 8th spot in the playoff race.

Tie Breakers:

Charlotte and Miami split the season series and they still has one game left with Orlando. The teams play on the final night of the season.

Orlando and Miami play on Tuesday night in Miami. Orlando has won 2 of the 3 games this season against the Heat. But Charlotte has won 2 out of 3 against Orlando and the teams play on the final night of the season in Charlotte.

The Week Ahead:

Miami: Tuesday at home Orlando, Thursday at home Dallas and Saturday at New York 

Orlando: Monday at home Philadelphia, Tuesday at Miami, Thursday at Detroit and Saturday at Indiana

Charlotte: Tuesday at home for San Antonio, Friday at L.A Lakers and Sunday at Golden State

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