Magic closer to end­ing play­off drought

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Sports -

Or­lando is not in — yet — but the Magic is on the brink of end­ing the long­est play­off drought in the East­ern Con­fer­ence.

In every year since 2012, the home fi­nale has been the last chance for Magic fans to see their club un­til the fol­low­ing fall. This time, Or­lando might be com­ing home for Game 3 of the East first round.

The Magic won 20 of its first 51 games and has won 20 of 29 games.

There are still five teams alive for the last three spots in the East, and four of them ac­tu­ally con­trol their des­tiny. Mi­ami would be as­sured of get­ting in by win­ning its fi­nal three games. Or­lando, Detroit and Brook­lyn would also be in if they all win out. Char­lotte re­mains in the race, though it needs a lot of help.

There still isn’t a sin

● gle seed clinched in the Western Con­fer­ence, but the pic­ture is start­ing to get clear.

Golden State’s magic num­ber for the top seed out West is one, and Den­ver — cur­rently No. 2 in the West stand­ings — can­not fall past the fourth spot re­gard­less of what hap­pens be­tween now and the sea­son end­ing on Wed­nes­day.

The War­riors can clinch the top seed Sun­day at home against the Los An­ge­les Clip­pers.

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