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Clippers 117, Nuggets 105

The SportsXchange

LOS ANGELES -- Forward Blake Griffin scored 24 points and point guard Chris Paul added 21 points and 10 assists, leading the Los Angeles Clippers to a 117-105 romp over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

The Clippers (57-24) set a franchise record for wins in a season, topping last season's mark of 56.

Denver (36-45) fell for the fourth consecutive time to the Clippers at Staples.

Los Angeles wraps up the regular season against the Trail Blazers on Wednesday night. The Clippers, currently in the No. 3 position in the Western Conference, could rise to No. 2 if they earn a win at Portland and the Oklahoma City Thunder loses at home to the Detroit Pistons.

Griffin probably won't play in Portland after picking up his 16th technical foul of the season, generating an automatic suspension if it isn't rescinded.

The technical was called at 3:23 of the second period, but it factored little in the outcome.

Paul set the tone early, sparking the Clippers to a double-digit lead in the opening period. He scored 13 of his 17 first-half points in the first quarter, staking Los Angeles to a 38-26 heading into the second. The Clippers led by as much as 19 in the first half before taking a 63-46 lead into intermission. Paul hit six of eight shots, including three of five 3-pointers, in 18 minutes during the opening half.

Denver closed within 89-84 on a jumper by forward Jan Vesely in the opening minutes of the final period, but Los Angeles' reserves kept the Nuggets at bay.

Los Angeles coach Doc Rivers sat Griffin, Paul and guard J.J. Redick in the fourth quarter. Redick scored 18 points, hitting four of six 3-point attempts. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan finished with 13 points and 16 rebounds.

All five Denver starters scored in double figures, led by forward Kenneth Faried, who had 21 points. Guard Aaron Brooks finished with 19 points, while center Timofey Mozgov had 18 points and 11 rebounds.

NOTES: Injured Clippers F Danny Granger may return to practice Thursday or Friday, coach Doc Rivers said. If so, Granger could be ready for the playoffs this weekend. Granger missed his eighth consecutive game Tuesday due to a strained left hamstring. ... Rivers will rest G J.J. Redick, who has endured an assortment of injuries this season, when the Clippers visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. ... Denver coach Brian Shaw said C Timofey Mozgov was the club's biggest surprise this season. "I feel like he's a diamond in the rough. He brings a lot of things to the table," Shaw said. ... Nuggets F Anthony Randolph sat out his second game in a row for personal reasons. ... Denver closes out its season at home Wednesday against the Golden State Warriors.
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