Clippers clinch playoff berth with win against Nuggets
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers became the fourth team in the NBA Western Conference to clinch a playoff spot as they beat Denver 105-90 on Sunday, led by DeAndre Jordan’s 16 points and 16 rebounds.
The Clippers joined San Antonio, Oklahoma City and conference leader Golden State, which beat lowly Philadelphia 117-105 to extend its home winning streak in regular season games to 53.
In another key result, Indiana boosted its playoff chances with a narrow home victory over Houston.
Los Angeles’ Chris Paul and Jamal Crawford both scored 14 points for the Clippers, who had a 25-8 edge in fast-break points.
Denver, 10th in the West with eight games remaining, fell 5-1/2 games behind Utah and Houston in the race for the conference’s eighth and final playoff berth.
Golden State’s Klay Thompson scored 40 points in consecutive games for the first time in his career, leading the Warriors to a 117-105 win against Philadelphia.
Draymond Green posted his franchise-best 12th triple-double with 13 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists for Golden State, which improved to 66-7, half a game ahead of the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls team that holds the record for most regular-season wins with 72. The Bulls were 65-8 through 73 games.
Carl Landry scored 22 points for the lowly Sixers, who have lost 22 of their past 23 games.
Indiana’s Paul George scored 16 of his 25 points in the first quarter to give the Pacers the foundation for a 104-101 win against Houston.
The Pacers led by 16 points in the third quarter but the Rockets fought back and went ahead in early in the fourth quarter, led by James Harden, who finished with 34 points.
Monta Ellis had 23 points for the Pacers, including the go-ahead basket with 4:46 left.
Sacramento won 133-111 against Dallas, which missed a chance to overtake state rival Houston, and remains ninth in the Western Conference, half a game behind the Rockets.
Washington’s John Wall had 22 points and 13 assists to lead the Wizards to a 101-88 win at the Los Angeles Lakers.