LOS ANGELES (AP) — DeAndre Jordan had 18 points and 17 rebounds, and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the Sacramento Kings 115-95 on Wednesday night to clinch the No. 4 seed in the West and home-court advantage in the playoffs.
The Clippers and Utah Jazz will meet in the first round starting this weekend. The teams finished with similar 51-31 records, but the Clippers held the tiebreaker, having won the season series 3-1.
Los Angeles heads into the playoffs with momentum, having won seven in a row for the NBA’s longest active streak.
J.J. Redick added 18 points for the Clippers, who needed a victory to gain home court after the Jazz beat San Antonio earlier in the evening. All five starters scored in double figures for Los Angeles.
The Clippers pulled away in the third quarter after leading by six at halftime.
Langston Galloway hit a 3-pointer that drew the Kings to 61-59, the closest they came in the second half.
Redick’s jumper launched a 24-14 run that sent the Clippers into the fourth leading 87-73. Blake Griffin, who finished with 15 points, had eight in the spurt, while Redick and Chris Paul added five each.
Willie Cauley-Stein had 19 points and 14 rebounds, and Arron Afflalo added 18 points for the Kings.
Sacramento won the teams’ last meeting 98-97 after rallying from 18 points down with five minutes to go last month. Four of the Clippers’ five starters remained in the game with 2 ½ minutes to go even though the Kings never made a run.
Kings: They finished off the franchise’s 11th straight losing season at 32-50. … They fell to 6-13 in the second game of a back-to-back and 15-24 overall in such situations. … The team went 15-26 on the road.
Clippers: Redick made three 3-pointers to finish with 201, breaking his career high and single-season franchise record of 200. He set the mark in each of the past two seasons. … They won 50 or more games for the fifth straight season, joining San Antonio as the only teams to do so. … The team showed a tribute video for Paul Pierce during the game’s final timeout. The 39-year-old veteran is retiring at season’s end. The crowd and the Clippers gave him a standing ovation. Fans chanted “We want Paul!” and they were rewarded when he checked in with 2:23 to play.
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