(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Raptors can clinch the third seed in the Eastern Conference with a win on Wednesday, and some help, when they host the Charlotte Hornets at Air Canada Centre in the season finale.
The Raptors are one game behind the Chicago Bulls for the third seed. If Toronto defeats Charlotte and the Bulls lose at home to the Eastern Conference-leading Atlanta Hawks, Toronto wins a tiebreaker by virtue of winning the Atlantic Division.
If the Raptors lose on Wednesday, and the Bulls win, the Raptors would be the fourth seed and host the Washington Wizards in the first round of the playoffs.
Toronto had a three-game winning streak halted on Tuesday in a 95-93 road loss to the Boston Celtics.
Jae Crowder hit the go-ahead jumper with 0.8 seconds left on the clock to give the C's the victory and the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.
Kyle Lowry tied the score for Toronto at 93-93 with 10.2 seconds left after driving down the lane for a left-handed layup.
Evan Turner tried to navigate down the paint at the other end, but his runner was blocked by Terrence Ross and the ball went out of bounds with 3.3 ticks on the clock.
Crowder then came off a screen along the right elbow and knocked down a fall- away jumper with a toe on the 3-point line in the right corner over Tyler Hansbrough and Lowry to put Boston in front.
Lowry's 3-pointer from the left wing at the horn was swatted by Turner.
Lowry posted 16 points, six rebounds and four assists and Lou Williams supplied 16 points off the bench for Toronto.
"The way we lost tonight, we're disappointed," Toronto coach Dwane Casey said.
Charlotte knows all about disappointment. After making the playoffs last season, they are lottery-bound, but injuries played a huge role. The starting frontline of Al Jefferson, Michael Kidd-Gilchrist and Cody Zeller all missed substantial time late in the season.
The Hornets have lost five straight and six in a row on the road. On Monday, they fell at home to the Houston Rockets, 100-90.
Brian Roberts scored a team-high 23 points, while Charlotte's starting backcourt of Kemba Walker and Gerald Henderson combined to shoot 3-of-20 from the field for six points.
A close game turned in Houston's favor because of an 11-2 run spanning the third and fourth quarters. Clint Capela scored the first four points of the fourth to give the Rockets an 87-75 cushion, and the closest the Hornets got from there was nine.
James Harden, Houston's MVP candidate, scored 29 in the win.
"I felt like we did a pretty good job on him," Roberts said of Harden. "It's amazing that he has 29 (points) and it's an off night."
The Hornets won two of three encounters this season with the Raptors and have won two in a row north of the border.