Clippers seek to reverse 'frustrating' playoff history

Posted April 16, 2017

For the Jazz, George Hill had 18 points. Whether the extra game takes place in Los Angeles or Salt Lake City will not be known until Wednesday. The Clippers came out on top of a low scoring affair 88-75.

Heading into their finale against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday at Staples Center, the Los Angeles Clippers will not be resting anyone because they can get home court in the first round if they win. While the teams were on a playoff collision course for the final month of the season, playoff seeding came down to the final night of the regular season. The Clippers earned the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage by virtue of winning the season series 3-1.

LOS ANGELES In a flawless world, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan would not have been on the court in the second half of the Clippers' regular-season finale on Wednesday, a 115-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings.

The Kings hoped to end the season by upsetting the Clippers and forcing them to the fifth seed, but Los Angeles (51-31) was motivated and played a strong second half to put the Kings away.

"I was trying to do some scoreboard watching, but I could not find the Jazz score in the arena until the fourth quarter", Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. The Los Angeles Clippers have won five straight home games. Buddy Hield had 16, Ben McLemore added 15 and Galloway contributed 14.

The Utah Jazz are in their first playoff appearance since 2011-12 and have won seven of their last nine games.

If the Celtics win they will take the Eastern Conference's top seed away from last year's National Basketball Association champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers, who are on a three-game losing streak and have won just 12 of their 26 games since the All-Star break.

"All our losses are tough", said Paul, who had 17 points and nine assists.

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A year ago, the Clippers owned a 2-0 lead against Portland in the first round only to lose in six games after injuries to Paul and Griffin.

"I don't have any love for the Clippers", coach Dave Joerger said.

Cauley-Stein had 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Arron Afflalo added 18 points. "At the end of the day it's got to be a unit and we've all got to be working together on a unit to make it flourish".

Los Angeles has won 18 of the last 22 meetings with the Kings. After that, the Clippers went on one of their best runs of the season, winning their final seven games, matching their two longest streaks of the season.

"This is what we play for", added Griffin about the playoffs.

Kings: They finished off the franchise's 11th straight losing season at 32-50. Though the all-bench lineup got some run for about 2:30 of game time to begin the second quarter, Doc subbed Blake out early (3:00 left) in the first quarter and brought him and Chris back early (9:30 left) in the second.

When the deal went down, the Kings were just 1 1/2 games out of the final playoff spot with a favorable schedule ahead that included three games against Denver, the team that held the eighth spot at the time.