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Clippers head to Portland with chance at No. 2 seed

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers have a shot at the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers Wednesday in the regular season finale for both teams.

The Clippers need a win in the Rose City coupled by an Oklahoma City Thunder loss to the Detroit Pistons to move up to the second spot in the West. The Clippers already locked up the No. 3 seed.

Los Angeles set a franchise record for wins with Tuesday's 117-105 victory over the Denver Nuggets and was led by Blake Griffin's 24 points. Chris Paul ended with 21 points and 10 assists, J.J. Redick added 18 points and DeAndre Jordan finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds for the Clippers, who posted their 57th win of the season, shot 53 percent and scored 100-plus points for the ninth straight game.

The Clippers, winners in 20 of the last 24 games, lead the NBA with 108.0 ppg and are 36-12 since Jan. 1. They went 3-2 on the homestand and will try to improve a 23-17 road ledger in Portland.

Griffin will not play on Wednesday after receiving his 16th technical foul, which prompts a one-game suspension. The technical occurred late in the second quarter when he swung his right arm while trying to get a ball from Denver's Timofey Mozgov and struck him in the head.

"I think it will be rescinded ... but I'm not going to play anyway," Griffin admitted.

Portland, meanwhile, is the fifth seed in the West and will face the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference quarterfinals.

The Trail Blazers have won four in a row and eight of their last nine games, including Sunday's 119-117 overtime triumph versus the Golden State Warriors. LaMarcus Aldridge led the Blazers with 26 points and put in the go-ahead basket with under a minute left in overtime.

Wesley Matthews scored 24 points, Nicolas Batum ended with 18 and 12 rebounds and Mo Williams scored 18 off the bench. Damian Lillard had 13 points and handed out five assists for the Blazers, who shot 50 percent for the game and posted a 46-38 advantage in rebounding.

Portland was able to survive a 47-point explosion on 16-of-29 shooting from Warriors All-Star guard Stephen Curry. Curry made seven of Golden State's 17 3-pointers.

"He had 47, but we still got the win," Matthews said.

The Blazers, who are third in the NBA with 106.7 ppg, target a fourth straight win at home and have a 30-10 record inside the Moda Center. They have split two meetings with the Clippers this season and the home team has prevailed each time.

The Clippers are 6-2 in the last eight in this series, but have dropped two in a row and 22 of 28 trips to the Pacific Northwest.

National News

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