The Los Angeles Clippers still have their sights set on a Pacific Division title, but they trail their crosstown rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers by a game with just three games remaining. Chris Paul and the Clippers pretty much need to win out and hope the Lakers lost two of three games. The Clippers have two road games remaining, but their weekend scheduled consists of their final home game of the year.
Sunday - New Orleans at Clippers (6:30 p.m. PDT, Prime Ticket, NBA TV): The Clippers welcome to Staples Center the New Orleans Hornets, owners of the worst record in the Western Conference (20-43). New Orleans is just 9-21 on the road this season, including a 97-85 loss to the Clippers at Staples Center on March 26. The Clippers lost 97-90 to the Hornets in New Orleans on March 22.
That's it for the Clippers at home until the postseason. They end their regular season with road games Tuesday in Atlanta and Wednesday in New York.
For more news and information on Clippers basketball, be sure to read Clips Nation.
Steve Nash hit a pair of free throws with 25.9 seconds remaining to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 93-90 win over the Los Angeles Clippers at US Airways Center in Phoenix. Nash had 13 points and six assists on the night.
Chris Paul had 19 points and 10 assists in the game and scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half. Paul hit two free throws of his own with 46 seconds remaining to briefly give the Clippers the lead. There were two ties and five lead changes in the final two minutes of a back-and-forth game in Phoenix.
Mo Williams missed a three-pointer with two seconds remaining, and after Channing Frye hit two free throws to give Phoenix a three-point lead, Blake Griffin missed a three-pointer at the buzzer. Blake Griffin had 16 points and 11 rebounds
The Clippers (39-24) still have a magic number of two to clinch home court advantage in the first round, and are a game behind the Lakers for the Pacific Division with three games to play. The Clippers have two days off before hosting the New Orleans Hornets Sunday night in their final home game of the season.
For more news and notes on Clippers basketball, be sure to read Clips Nation.
Marcin Gortat had eight points and 11 rebounds as the Phoenix Suns took a 46-45 lead into halftime over the Los Angeles Clippers Thursday night at US Airways Center in a nationally televised game on TNT. Gortat helped the Suns outrebound the Clippers 29-24 in the opening 24 minutes.
The Clippers are in search of their second six-game winning streak of the season and in the last month. The Clippers have lost two of three games to Phoenix this season. The Clippers trail the Los Angeles Lakers by a half-game in the Pacific Division.
Blake Griffin led the Clippers with 14 points and six rebounds. Caron Butler added nine points for the Clippers, who shot 42.6% (20 for 47) in the opening half. Chris Paul had six assists but just two points, on 1-of-7 shooting. The Clippers led 29-27 after the first quarter.
The Lakers remain a half-game ahead of the Clippers, with three games remaining for the Lakers and four for the Clippers. The Lakers hold the tiebreaker in what essentially is a race for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference.
NBA Western Conference Standings
1 home / 2 road
1 home / 3 road
1 home / 1 road
1 home / 2 road
1 home / 3 road
Through games of April 18
The Lakers' magic number to clinch the Pacific Division and No. 3 seed is three, which would get them a first-round date with likely either Dallas Mavericks or Denver Nuggets. The Clippers' magic number to clinch at least the No. 4 seed over the Memphis Grizzlies is two, as the Clippers hold the tiebreaker over the Grizzlies.
The Clippers are in position to have home court advantage in the playoffs for the first time in their history. The Clippers battle the Suns in Phoenix on Thursday night.