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Clippers Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan exchange a high-five. And, why not? The team clinched a playoff spot Monday night with a win over Oklahoma City.
There was a time -- for example, the bulk of the team's existence -- that simply making the NBA playoffs would have been the most a Clippers fan would dare to expect from a team that has finished with a record above .500 just twice since moving to LA in 1984.
But the Clippers (38-23) not only clinched a playoff spot Monday night, they did it in style against the team with the Western Conference's second-best record.
"It is something that we're happy about, but by no means is that all we want,'' said forward Blake Griffin. "That was one of our goals coming in, but it goes farther than that.''
The 92-77 win over Oklahoma City (44-17) moved the Clippers to just one game behind the Lakers for third place in the conference. The playoff appearance will be the Clippers' first since 2006 and just their fifth since moving to LA in 1984.
The playoff berth was actually sealed in the first half when Houston lost to Denver, but give the Clippers some style points for the win over the Thunder.
"This is a great feeling,'' guard Chris Paul said after Monday's win. "We can celebrate it, be excited about it tonight but tomorrow we're back at work.''
The NBA playoffs begin April 28. The Clippers will play four of their remaining five games on the road, including visits to Denver, Phoenix and Atlanta before closing out the regular season April 25 in New York.
Single-game tickets for the Clippers' first-round playoff games will go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. at Clippers.com, Ticketmaster.com, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling (800) 4-NBA-TIX.