LOS ANGELES – Nick Young scored 19 points off the bench, Blake Griffin added 17 and Randy Foye 13 to help the playoff-bound Los Angeles Clippers beat the West-leading Oklahoma City Thunder 92-77 on Monday night.
The Clippers had already clinched their first playoff berth in five years before the game began as a result of Houston's three-point loss to Denver, ending the second-longest active postseason drought in the league.
Griffin had 11 rebounds and DeAndre Jordan grabbed 12 in the Clippers' fourth straight victory and 12th in their last 14 games. Their 38 wins are the most since the franchise had 40 in 2006-07.
Kevin Durant led Oklahoma City with 24 points, Serge Ibaka and James Harden added 12 points each, and Russell Westbrook was held to nine as the Thunder's two-game winning streak ended.
The Clippers didn't need the victory to achieve their immediate goal, but they played like they wanted it in the fourth quarter, which began tied at 66-all.
Mo Williams hit a 3-pointer for the Clippers' first lead since they scored the game's first basket. Eric Bledsoe came in for Paul and calmly ran the offense, feeding Williams and Young, who combined for 10 of their first 14 points.
Griffin scored on back-to-back rim-rattling dunks that had the Clippers' 32nd sellout crowd of the season on its feet roaring. Paul briefly came back in, but Williams and Foye made consecutive 3s to stretch their lead to 90-77, so the All-Star guard sat down again with the game in hand.
Foye dribbled out the final seconds with a smile on his face, although at the buzzer the Clippers did little more than smile and hug each other.
The Clippers dominated the third, outscoring the Thunder 23-14. Durant and Westbrook were shut out, while Ibaka scored 12, including nine in a row. Young scored eight straight, hitting two consecutive 3s, to draw Los Angeles within one. Durant banged into Griffin on the perimeter for the foul. Griffin made both shots, but the second was disallowed when Jordan committed a lane violation, leaving the game tied at 66 going into the fourth.
The Thunder led by 11 points in the second quarter. The Clippers closed within four three times, the last time on a 10-3 run including four in a row by Griffin. But the Thunder ran off the final five points to go up 52-43 at halftime. Ibaka had three fouls in the first half when he had no rebounds and no points.
Notes: The Clippers won the season series, 3-1. ... The Clippers play four of their final five games on the road, where they will try to finish with a .500 or better record for the first time since moving to Los Angeles in 1984. ... They are 15-14 away from home, one of just three Western Conference teams to have winning road mark. ... The Thunder fell to 19-11 on the road, still tops in the West. ... The Thunder came in averaging 103.1 points. ... Durant made 10 of 12 free throws, but the Thunder was just 62 percent from the line, well below their league-leading 80.3 percent.