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Clippers pay a visit to Nuggets

Fresh off clinching their first playoff berth in six seasons, the Los Angles Clippers hit the road to take on a streaking Denver Nuggets team.

Denver's latest win, a 105-102 triumph in Houston on Monday, actually helped the Clips secure their postseason berth, the franchise's first since 2005-06.

Arron Afflalo scored 26 points and Ty Lawson dropped in 25 as the Nuggets also gained some cushion over the Rockets in the Western Conference standings with the win.

Al Harrington added 15 points and nine rebounds for the Nuggets, who are now the sixth seed in the West, two games ahead of the Rockets, who are deadlocked with Phoenix at No. 8.

"We didn't win anything tonight but it's putting us in a good position," said Denver head coach George Karl. "As long as we keep winning on our own court we'll keep rolling along."

The Clippers, meanwhile, are coming off a 92-77 statement game over Western Conference power Oklahoma City on Monday. Blake Griffin netted 17 points and grabbed 11 rebounds in that one.

Nick Young provided a spark off the bench with 19 points and Randy Foye contributed 13 for the Clippers, who have won four straight, bookended by victories over the Thunder.

"We talked about clinching a playoff spot before the game and the playoffs are all about preparation," Clippers point guard Chris Paul said.

"One of our goals was to make the playoffs, but we have higher goals yet to reach," Griffin added.

One of those higher goals is the Pacific Division crown and the Clippers, who have won 12 of 14 overall, are just one-half game behind the Lakers with five to play. The Lakers play at Golden State tonight.

After tonight's contest the Clips will visit Phoenix and then return home to face New Orleans before closing the season with consecutive road games in Atlanta and New York.

The Clippers snapped a nine-game skid in Denver with a 109-105 win back on Jan. 29. The Nuggets, however, have won a season-high five straight games at home.

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