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Bobcats clinch playoffs in OT win over Cavs

CLEVELAND — Al Jefferson scored 24 points, including seven in overtime, and the Charlotte Bobcats clinched a playoff spot with a 96-94 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Saturday night.

Charlotte is in the postseason for the second time in its 10-year history and the first time since 2010. The Bobcats (39-38) are over .500 for the second time this season and hold seventh place in the Eastern Conference.

Kyrie Irving scored a career-high 44 points for Cleveland. The Cavaliers (31-47) trail eighth-place Atlanta by 3½ games for the final playoff spot in the East.

Irving was 16 of 31 from the field, including five 3-pointers. He added eight assists and seven rebounds.

Gerald Henderson's basket gave Charlotte a 90-89 lead with 1:08 remaining and the Bobcats made four free throws down the stretch to seal the win.

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