Los Angeles has won four of its last five games at Staples Center entering its home finale, improving to 26-14 at home for its best mark since going 27-14 in 1992-93.
The Clippers conclude the season with a two-game trip to Houston and New Orleans.
Los Angeles has lost three of its last four games overall, including a 98-91 defeat at NBA-leading Phoenix on Friday.
Elton Brand scored 22 points to lead the Clippers, who managed just 12 points in the fourth quarter on 6-for-18 shooting.
“We played really hard and did a lot of good things out there, but the 20 offensive rebounds we gave up was the difference in the game,” Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said, “and some of our turnovers, they weren’t forced. We must have stepped out of bounds five times.”
Chris Kaman scored 21 points, two shy of his career high, and Bobby Simmons added 14 while Shaun Livingston handed out 11 assists. Clippers center Chris Wilcox left with a sore lower right leg in the second quarter and did not return.
The Clippers remain one game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers, who also have three games left. The Clippers haven’t finished ahead of the Lakers since the 1992-93 season.
The Western Conference-worst Hornets lost their sixth straight game, 97-72 to the Seattle SuperSonics on Friday.
Lee Nailon scored 15 points for the Hornets, who dressed only nine players because of injuries. Dan Dickau, who had missed Wednesday’s game at Denver with a strained left shoulder, returned to score eight points.
New Orleans leads the all-time series 21-13, but the teams have split the last eight meetings.
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