CLEVELAND — Mark Williams had 22 points and 10 rebounds and fellow rookie Bryce McGowens scored 22 points as the Charlotte Hornets rallied in the fourth quarter Sunday for a 106-95 win over the playoff-bound Cleveland Cavaliers.
Theo Maledon had 18 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Charlotte, which finished with the fourth-worst record in the NBA at 27-55 and did not advance to the postseason for the seventh year in a row. The Hornets missed their first 24 3-point attempts.
All-Star Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland were not in uniform for the fourth-seeded Cavaliers, who will have home-court advantage in their first-round series with the New York Knicks. Sam Merrill scored 17 points and Danny Green and Raul Neto each had 13.
Cleveland blew an 11-point lead, finished the regular season 51-31 and will be in the playoffs for the first time since reaching the 2018 NBA Finals.
Evan Mobley had six points and five rebounds, and Jarrett Allen had four points and six boards for the Cavaliers. They played 12 minutes apiece, none after the first quarter.
The Hornets did not dress their top six scorers, including point guard Terry Rozier and small forward Gordon Hayward, and finished 6 of 32 beyond the arc.
Svi Mykhailiuk had 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists, and put Charlotte in front for good at 82-79 with a 3-pointer with 9:49 remaining. The Hornets used a 38-11 run to go up by 12 late in the fourth.
BIG MEN BACK
Cavaliers coach J.B. Bickerstaff gave his starters the option to sit out the final two games, which guards Mitchell and Garland opted to do. Power forward Mobley and center Allen did not play Thursday at Orlando, but wanted to take the court against the Hornets.
“I had a conversation with all those guys to see where they’re at,” Bickerstaff said. “Evan said he’d like to get some time. He just is a basketball player.”
Hornets: G Terry Rozier (right foot discomfort), G LaMelo Ball (right foot surgery), F Gordon Hayward (left thumb sprain), F Kelly Oubre Jr. (right shoulder strain), F P.J. Washington Jr. (right foot strain) and F Cody Martin (left knee sprain) were unavailable. … Swingman Oubre, who averaged a career-high 20.3 points, will be an unrestricted free agent. … Charlotte was 13-28 at home and 14-27 on the road.
Cavaliers: F Isaac Okoro (left knee soreness) missed the final six games after being hurt March 26 against Houston, but should return for the playoff opener. “We’ve missed him,” Bickerstaff said. “It will be huge having him back with the way he can contain the ball defensively.” … Cleveland sold out all 41 home games at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse, extending its streak to 50 straight in the regular season.
All of WCNC Charlotte's podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere.