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Bobcats clinch playoffs in 96-94 OT win over Cavs

Charlotte Bobcats' Anthony Tolliver (43) is knocked down by Cleveland Cavaliers' Tyler Zeller in the first half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, April 5, 2014, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

CLEVELAND (AP) -- No one will fault the Charlotte Bobcats for taking a moment to savor their second postseason appearance in franchise history.

They've come a long way in a short period of time.

Al Jefferson scored 24 points, including seven in overtime, and the Bobcats clinched a playoff spot with a 96-94 victory 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.

Steve Clifford, the Bobcats' third coach in three seasons, praised his team's character.

"This is a significant accomplishment for our group of guys, and it puts us in a different place in the league," he said. "The guys in the locker room are excited -- and they should be -- because we've got a good group of guys and a group of guys who are truly deserving."

While the Bobcats were celebrating, the Cavaliers' slim playoff hopes suffered yet another damaging loss despite a career-high 44 points from Kyrie Irving. Cleveland (31-47) trails eighth-place Atlanta by 3

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