The Charlotte Hornets have fired heave coach Steve Clifford, a native of Maine, after the team failed to reach the playoffs for the third time in the last four seasons.

The move comes after a meeting with new general manager Mitch Kupchak on Friday.

Charlotte finished 36-46 despite what Clifford on Wednesday called his most talented team. Clifford missed 21 games this season because of headaches stemming from sleep deprivation. He acknowledged that the Hornets “didn’t make good progress” this year.

The Hornets were 196-214 in five seasons under Clifford. They reached the playoffs twice, but failed to make it out of the first round in 2014 and 2016.

Clifford was born in Island Falls, Maine, but grew up largely in Vermont. He played college basketball at UMaine-Farmington.


THUNDER: Oklahoma City might be without starting shooting guard Corey Brewer heading into its first-round playoff series opener Sunday against Utah.
Brewer sprained his right knee during the regular-season finale against Memphis.

WIZARDS: The league suspended guard Jodie Meeks 25 games without pay for using a banned substance.

NUGGETS: General Manager Tim Connelly said contract extensions for center Nikola Jokic and guard Will Barton are among his priorities and Coach Michael Malone also might be in line for one.

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