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Clippers Win 57th to Break Franchise Mark

clippsThe Los Angeles Clippers won their 57th game of the season to beat their previous high of 56 set last season. They still have a slight chance of overtaking the Oklahoma City Thunder for the #2 spot in the Western Conference Playoffs. However, they have two major obstacles to overcome. First they must beat the Portland Trail Blazers without the services of star forward Blake Griffin, who was teed up for the 16th time this season in their win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday. The bigger obstacle though is the Thunder’s final regular season game is against the lowly Detroit Pistons.

The Clippers could get lucky though and things could go their way tonight. Strange things tend to happen at the end of an NBA season. The Thunder could rest their starters or the Pistons could show up motivated to end the season on a good note. If that were to happen it could change the odds on winning the conference.

Right now the Thunder is around +170 to win the west while the Clippers are around +500. Should they get the seventh seed in the first round, the Dallas Mavericks or Memphis Grizzlies, over the sixth seeded Golden State Warriors, their odds should go up on getting to the Finals. The Warriors and Clippers have quite a rivalry going in the Pacific Division and many times the Warriors come our on top. Golden State beat the Clippers three of four last season and twice in four games this year. However, the Grizzlies and Clippers have met in the last two playoffs, and the Grizzlies beat them a season ago. The Mavericks also went to Staples and beat the Clippers the last time they were there. So maybe this really doesn’t matter a whole lot except if the Clippers and Thunder meet in the Western semifinals. Home court advantage for the second seed in a possible deciding Game Seven could make a big difference.

With Detroit at 12-28 on the road, the Thunder will very likely keep the second seed and the Clippers will be looking at the Warriors in the first round. The only first round series set in stone going into the season’s final night is the four vs five match-up between the Blazers and the Houston Rockets. Since Portland has nothing riding on tonight’s game, we may see their starters stay on the bench.

Interestingly, the Mavericks and Grizzlies play each other to decide the seventh and eighth seeds. The winner will get the two seed, either the Thunder or Clippers. The loser draws the top seeded San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors are locked into the sixth spot and await the Thunder-Clippers outcome to see who they get. So on the last night of the NBA regular season, we still have a lot to settle.

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