There’s one game left in the Clippers’ regular season, but don’t think it doesn’t have meaning. It does. In a big way. The Clippers still haven’t assured themselves of home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs, but they can do that Wednesday night with a win in Sacramento. And they still have an outside shot at the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference, although they’ll need some help to secure that spot. Bottom line: Their 93-77 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on Tuesday night was a rousing home finale, but their work isn’t quite done. “We did what we needed to do tonight,” coach Vinny Del Negro said, and although he was talking about the game, he also could have been talking about playoff positioning. Here’s where the Clippers stand: They’ll be guaranteed home-court advantage if the Memphis Grizzlies, who play at home against the Utah Jazz on Wednesday night, lose – a result that should just about be over by the time the Clippers take the court in Sacramento at 7:30 p.m. PT Even if the Grizzlies win, the Clippers would still hold home court by beating the Kings, who might be playing their last game in Sacramento. If the Denver Nuggets lose at home to the Phoenix Suns – an unlikely occurrence given the Nuggets’ 37-3 home record and the Suns’ woeful record – and the Clippers beat the Kings, the Clippers would take over the third seed in the playoffs. Those are all scenarios the Clippers will face Wednesday. After beating the Blazers and winning their sixth consecutive game, they were feeling confident and in control. Guard Chauncey Billups came back after an eight-game absence resulting from a groin injury and provided a soothing presence despite missing all five shots he took. Caron Butler, though, looked fully recovered from a sore right knee that limited him to nine minutes Saturday night at Memphis. He scored 18 points in the third quarter and 22 for the game, hitting 9 of 14 shots.
Clippers win big over Blazers to inch closer to home court
Fox Sports West | Apr 17