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Larry Bird
Clippers must knock out defending champion Spurs in playoffs' first round
Clippers must knock out defending champion Spurs in playoffs' first round

If the Clippers were to beat the San Antonio Spurs in the first round of the playoffs, they would still need 12 more victories to win an NBA title. It would only seem like they were so much closer. The Spurs have become the silver-and-black standard-bearer for excellence, giving the Clippers' opening playoff series the feel of something much more significant. "Nobody's going to get to the Finals without going through the Spurs," Clippers sixth man Jamal Crawford said Thursday as his team began preparations for Game 1 on Sunday night at Staples Center. "All roads lead through them anyway." It's no exaggeration. The Spurs have advanced to at least the...

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