Charlotte Bobcats/Hornets still seeking first playoff win

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In 2010, the Charlotte Bobcats were excited just to make the playoffs.

The Bobcats started as an expansion team in 2004-05, and it took six years just to reach the postseason. There, they were swept by the Orlando Magic.

“They know how to play playoff basketball,” then-Bobcats coach Larry Brown said. “We haven’t figured it out yet.”

The Bobcats still haven’t figured it out.

Tonight could have been Game 5 of the Bobcats-Heat series. Instead, Charlotte was swept by the Heat, dropping its playoff record to 0-8.

The Bobcats will change their name and try again next season as the Hornets for that playoff victory. But even if it comes that soon, it would be 11 years since the franchise’s inception.

Of course, the NBA’s size and playoff structure has changed, and it’s arguably harder now than ever to win a postseason game.

How does Charlotte’s 10-plus-year wait compare historically?

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Franchise First season First playoff win Years until first playoff win
ATL 1950 1950 1
DEN 1977 1977 1
GSW 1947 1947 1
LAL 1949 1949 1
NYK 1947 1947 1
PHI 1950 1950 1
SAC 1949 1949 1
BOS 1947 1948 2
CHI 1967 1968 2
DET 1949 1950 2
HOU 1968 1969 2
MIL 1969 1970 2
PHO 1969 1970 2
SAS 1977 1978 2
DAL 1981 1984 4
LAC 1971 1974 4
WAS 1962 1965 4
NOP 1989 1993 5
CLE 1971 1976 6
MIA 1989 1994 6
ORL 1990 1995 6
TOR 1996 2001 6
POR 1971 1977 7
BRK 1977 1984 8
OKC 1968 1975 8
MIN 1990 1998 9
CHA 2005 2014 10+
UTA 1975 1984 10
IND 1977 1987 11
MEM 1996 2011 16

If the Hornets win a playoff game next year, they’d tie the Pacers for the second-longest wait for a franchise’s first playoff win (11 seasons). If it takes any longer, there’d be only one more franchise that took longer.

At least the Grizzlies, who needed 16 years, give Charlotte a little buffer.

Grizzlies beat slumping Pacers, who fall into tie for final playoff spot

AP Photo/Brandon Dill
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Mike Conley matched his career high with seven 3-pointers on his way to 36 points, helping the Memphis Grizzlies rout the Indiana Pacers 110-97 on Wednesday night.

Vince Carter had 21 points and eight rebounds, and Zach Randolph finished with 17 points as Memphis snapped a four-game losing streak. Conley went 13 for 21 from the field.

Paul George led the Pacers with 22 points, Aaron Brooks, who provided an early spark from outside the arc, had 18 points, and Thaddeus Young finished with 16.

Indiana lost for the fourth time in five games.

Memphis played without All-Star center Marc Gasol, who missed his third straight game with a left foot strain. But Conley helped the Grizzlies get off the fast start, and Pacers were never able to catch up.

Memphis led by as many as 22 in the second quarter and carried a 72-53 advantage into the break. Conley scored 22 points in the first half, and the Grizzlies went 10 for 17 from beyond the arc in the first two periods.

Brooks made four 3-pointers and scored 14 in the first half for Indiana.

The Grizzlies led 96-79 after three, and the sliding Pacers never threatened in the fourth.

Indiana (37-38) dropped into a tie with Miami for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. Both are two games behind Milwaukee and Atlanta.

The Heat, Bucks and Hawks all won Wednesday night.

TIP-INS

Pacers: Brooks made a 3-pointer in the first quarter to reach 800 for his career. … Indiana dropped to 0-8 in road games on the second night of a back-to-back.

Grizzlies: JaMychal Green was out with left shoulder soreness. That caused Memphis to use its 22nd different starting lineup this season. … Memphis scored 38 points in the first quarter, matching its highest point total for any quarter this season. … Memphis has made at least 10 3-pointers in 36 games. … In the third quarter, Carter passed Ray Allen (24,505) for 22nd in NBA history for career points scored. … Reserve guard Andrew Harrison left in the third quarter with a right ankle injury.

PACERS HOMECOMINGS

Pacers forward Thaddeus Young played high school basketball in Memphis and still lives there. Pacers guard Monta Ellis has a home in the Eads community east of Memphis.

HOME STRETCH

Memphis (41-34), which sits seventh in the Western Conference playoff race, has a beneficial schedule down the stretch. Of its seven remaining games, five are at home, and five are against teams with losing records.

UP NEXT

Pacers: Visit Toronto on Friday.

Grizzlies: Host the Dallas Mavericks on Friday.

Three Mavericks teammates restrain Devin Harris, who still gets ejected (video)

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Dallas guard Devin Harris was ejected from Wednesday night’s 121-118 loss to New Orleans after angrily protesting calls made by official Ben Taylor.

Harris was assessed two quick technical fouls by Taylor, the first after Harris protested Taylor’s decision to whistle him for a personal foul when he collided with Pelicans’ guard Jordan Crawford.

The impact with Crawford sent Harris crashing to the court, marking the second time in the period that Harris had gone down hard. The first time, no foul was called when a collision with Pelicans’ guard E'Twaun Moore left Harris flat on his back.

When Harris was assessed the first technical, he went into a tirade and had to be restrained by teammates as he advanced toward Taylor. That triggered his ejection.

Bucks’ Malcolm Brogdon beats shot clock, Celtics with dagger (video)

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Who should win Rookie of the Year?

Joel Embiid has been, by far, the best rookie while on the court, but a season-ending injury will limit him to just 31 games. Malcolm Brogdon has been next best over the full course of the season. Dario Saric is making a heck of a finishing kick, and with a couple weeks left, he can still catch Brogdon.

But Brogdon got his own late signature moment in the Bucks’ 103-100 win over the Celtics tonight.

With the Bucks up one in the final seconds and the shot clock nearing expiration, Brogdon hit an off-balance jumper with 3.9 seconds left to produce the final margin.

Milwaukee’s win drops Boston (48-27) to second in the Eastern Conference, behind only the Cavaliers (47-26). The Bucks (39-36) keep pace with the Hawks in a tie for fifth.

Russell Westbrook scores most points ever in triple-double, 57

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Russell Westbrook led a double-digit comeback in the final minutes of the fourth quarter. Been there done, that.

Westbrook hit a defining buzzer-beating 3-pointer. Been there done, that.

Westbrook posted a historic triple-double. Been there, done that.

All three in one game?

That’s a new level for Westbrook, who lifted the Thunder to a 114-106 win over the Magic tonight while posting an incredible stat line: 57 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists.

James Harden scored 53 in a triple-double just this season, and Westbrook has already one-upped that record.

This MVP race is one for the ages.