Washington (41-34) were rebuffed in their bid to be the sixth team in the Eastern Conference to claim a postseason berth with a 103-92 loss at Detroit on Thursday night. But the Wizards getting into the playoffs is a mere formality as they need to win just one of their final seven games since they hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the ninth-place Pistons.
The Wizards, whose lead over the Miami Heat for the Southeast Division was also cut to one-half game, also could get point guard John Wall back for this game. He dressed for Thursday's contest but did not play as he nears a return from arthroscopic knee surgery that has sidelined him the past 27 games.
While Wall may return, the Wizards could need a replacement at small forward for this game since Otto Porter sprained his ankle in the second quarter of Thursday night's return. Porter is third on the team in scoring at 14.6 points, but he is an underrated facilitator of the offense at the three.
Charlotte (34-42) had their four-game winning streak snapped Wednesday night with a 118-105 loss at home to Cleveland. Kemba Walker scored 21 points as be passed Dell Curry to become the franchise's all-time leading scorer, but the Hornets forced just six turnovers and allowed the Cavaliers to hit 11 3-pointers.
Despite the teams trending in opposite directions, Charlotte are going for the season sweep of their division rivals. The Hornets have not swept the Wizards in a four-game season series since 1992/93.