Now that they’re assured of making the playoffs, now all the Los Angeles Clippers have to worry about is getting the best seed possible.
They took a big step towards improving on that mark last night, as they trumped the Oklahoma City Thunder 92-77 at Staples Center.
Nick Young led L.A. with 19 points off-the-bench, including 3-of-4 from three-point range, while Blake Griffin chipped-in with 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The Clippers now sit a season-best 15 games above .500 at 38-23, and are now just one game behind the Lakers for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
The loss dropped Oklahoma City into a virtual tie with the Spurs, but, due to percentage points, the Thunder technically sit in the No. 2 spot, six games ahead of the Clippers.
Kevin Durant led the Thunder with 24 points, but got very little help from anybody else, as no other OKC player scored more than 12.
L.A. has now won four straight games, and 12 of their last 14 since a mid-March swoon reportedly put head coach Vinny Del Negro’s job in jeopardy.
It will be important for the Clippers to keep their foot on the gas, though, as they’re still only a game-and-a-half ahead of the equally-hot Memphis Grizzlies.
The second unit, including Young, Eric Bledsoe and Mo Williams, was huge for L.A. Monday night, helping get the team back into the game after an early deficit. The third quarter proved to be the difference, overall, as the Clips outscored the Thunder 23-14.
If the Clippers can finish .500 or better over the course of their final four road games, they’ll finish with a .500-or-better road record for the first time since the team moved to Los Angeles, back in 1984.
The 38 wins for L.A. is already the most since the 2006-07 season.
From here, the Clippers will travel to Denver to take on the Nuggets Wednesday, while the Thunder head down to Phoenix for a date with the Suns that same night.
About the Author
Written by Taylor Smith
Taylor Smith is a writer for the Los Angeles Clippers.