A pair of victories at Staples Center has the Los Angeles Clippers back on track toward capturing home-court advantage in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Boston Celtics have also done their best lately to try to claim that reward in the Eastern Conference.
The Celtics will seek to match their season-high win streak Monday night while ending their recent road woes against the Clippers.
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Los Angeles (45-27) secured its spot in the postseason with a 105-90 victory against Denver on Sunday. That win also moved the Clippers 4 1/2 games ahead of Memphis for fourth in the West.
"It does matter when you consistently just assume you're going to the playoffs, but we want to do more than that, obviously," coach Doc Rivers told the team's official website. "That's why no one knew that we clinched, which is good. It's a good sign when you don't know anymore, maybe that's the sign we're looking for."
The Clippers will try to take another step toward wrapping up a top-four spot with a fourth consecutive home win over the Celtics (43-30). Boston, however, is heading to L.A. having won four in a row after holding on for a 102-99 victory in Phoenix on Saturday.
Isaiah Thomas had 28 points in the opener to a five-game Western trip and bumped his average in 12 games this month to 26.3. Boston went 8 of 29 from 3-point range but helped offset that poor shooting by making 24 of 27 free throws to stay a half-game ahead of Miami for fourth in the East.
"I'm just glad we got the win," Thomas said. "This time of year, no matter how you get wins, it's just about staying on top and we did that."
Thomas scored 36 points - two shy of matching his career high - in a 139-134 overtime win against the Clippers on Feb. 10 and is averaging 26.7 while shooting 50.0 shooting in his last three matchups.
Los Angeles point guard Chris Paul had 35 points - tied for his second-best performance this season - and 13 assists. DeAndre Jordan also had one of his highest scoring efforts with 21 points and grabbed 16 rebounds.
Jordan, who is averaging 16.3 points on 75.9 percent shooting in his last seven games, had 16 points, 16 boards and six blocks in the win over Denver.
"He's our energy guy, the captain of our defense," forward Paul Pierce said. "He gets the rebounds obviously, but we have been going to him a little bit more in the post on offense. He's starting to fulfill a lot of his potential. He is still young and still has a lot of room to grow. He's showing that he can keep getting better and better."
J.J. Redick will try to use a matchup with the Celtics to break out of his three-game slump in which he's averaged 10.7 points on 36.1 percent shooting. Although Boston leads the league in 3-point defense at 32.6 percent, Redick has scored 27 points in each of his last two meetings while making a combined 20 of 29 shots and 7 of 11 from 3-point range.
Blake Griffin was out for the latest matchup with the Celtics and will miss this one while serving the second of a four-game team suspension. The Clippers star broke his hand in a fight with assistant equipment manager Matias Testi on Jan. 23, when he was already out with a partially torn tendon in his left quad.