(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Clippers jockey for positioning in the Western Conference playoff race Saturday night at the Pepsi Center against the Denver Nuggets.
The Clippers clinched their postseason berth, but their seeding is nowhere close to being decided. They are even with San Antonio for fifth in the West and only two games out of the No. 2 spot with six to play.
LA had a seven-game winning streak snapped on Tuesday against the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center. But, the Clippers got back into the win column on Wednesday with a 126-122 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center.
Chris Kaman pushed Chris Paul in the back, causing a scuffle.
It also ignited the Clippers in a game they trailed by double digits for most of the first three quarters.
Paul had 41 points and 17 assists and the Clippers rallied past the Blazers.
"I think our bench gave us our life and put us back in the game," Paul said.
Paul appeared to hit Kaman in the groin with his left hand while grabbing a loose ball rebound. Kaman retaliated by pushing him in the back near the baseline and walking away from the ensuing fracas.
Clippers forward Glen Davis rushed after Kaman, but was sent flying backward by a LaMarcus Aldridge shove.
Portland led 92-81 prior to the skirmish. The Clippers then went on a 27-8 run following the incident to seize control of the contest before holding on in the final minute.
J.J. Redick posted 25 points and eight rebounds, Blake Griffin tallied 24 points, eight assists and seven boards and DeAndre Jordan added 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Clippers, who trailed by as many as 19.
The Clippers finish their road trip (sort of) against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Nuggets will commence the final homestand of the season and are slated to host the Clippers, Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Sacramento Kings.
Denver is 17-20 at home and has lost three straight and seven of nine games. In a 123-93 lopsided loss at the Spurs Friday night, Danilo Gallinari scored 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting and Jameer Nelson added 14 points.
"They're just so good," Nuggets coach Melvin Hunt said of the Spurs. "They're like the old Mike Tyson. They come out of that corner and start throwing haymakers early."
The Nuggets gave up 45 points in the first quarter and allowed the Spurs to shoot 55.3 percent for the game. Denver lost all three games on the trip and committed 18 turnovers for 24 San Antonio points.
On a positive note, Denver is 5-3 in the last eight games against the Clips and all five of those wins came in the Rocky Mountains. The two clubs will meet in LA on April 13.