Clippers, Thunder ready for big showdown tonight

It’s being hyped as a showdown between two of the best teams in the NBA.

When the Clippers and Oklahoma City Thunder meet Wednesday night at Staples Center, both teams will have plenty riding on the outcome — and that’s why there is all the hype.

Leading the season series, 2-1, the Clippers can clinch the regular-season tiebreaker over the Thunder with a victory.

So if the Clippers and Thunder end the regular season with matching records, L.A. would win the first tiebreaker of head-to-head competition and would have the home-court advantage if the two teams meet in the second round of the NBA playoffs.

However, the Clippers (55-23), currently in position for the third playoff seed, are 1½ games behind the second-seeded Thunder (56-21) in the Western Conference, two games in the loss column.

For the Clippers to overtake the Thunder, they have to win Wednesday night and then win their last three games — at home against Sacramento on Saturday and Denver on Tuesday, and on the
road for the regular-season finale against a Portland team that is headed to the playoffs.

The Clippers also would need the Thunder to slip up in at least one of its final four games.

The Thunder has New Orleans at home, struggling Indiana and New Orleans again on the road, and Detroit at home to finish the regular season.


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