Clippers clinch playoff spot with win over Timberwolves

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Doc Rivers study the preseason predictions that stated his crew might win 35 video games, at best. Neither the Clippers instruct nor his players took an awful lot inventory in all that. Now, they’re playoff-bound. Danilo Gallinari scored 25 factors, and Los Angeles clinched a postseason spot Tuesday night time with a 122-111 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rivers’ club is back in the postseason after falling short a yr in the past. The Clippers finished forty two-forty last season, lacking the playoffs after making it six instantly years — four under Rivers. “I’m simply without a doubt glad for our men,” Rivers said. “Before the year, we went through all of the articles approximately us and the way bad we had been going to be. I simply told them, they don’t understand us.” The Clippers (45-30) became the fifth Western Conference crew to relaxed a postseason berth. With seven normal-season video games to play, Los Angeles nonetheless has a shot at incomes home-court docket gain inside the first spherical. Lou Williams added 20 points off the bench for the Clippers, who outscored Minnesota’s reserves 53-25. Williams had 45 points the remaining time Los Angeles played at Target Center.

The Clippers have gained six in a row, the longest active streak in the NBA, and are 11-1 in March. “It’s so hard to make the playoffs inside the West,” stated protect Patrick Beverley, who stated he turned into nice after exiting the sport with a hip pointer. “To be within the class with a number of the groups that were within the class with, it’s virtually a blessing.” Los Angeles led using 25 earlier than Minnesota trimmed the deficit to 104-98 inside the fourth region on a three-pointer with the aid of Karl-Anthony Towns. It changed into the closest the Wolves had been because of the first area. “Something that I suppose has failed us in a whole lot of our losses is simply our execution,” Towns said. “It hasn’t been the effort, and it hasn’t been the dedication. It has just been the execution.” Towns led Minnesota with 24 points and thirteen rebounds. Andrew Wiggins scored 22, and Dario Saric introduced 18.

Montrezl Harrell helped the Clippers shy away after the Timberwolves got inside single digits past due in the game. Ten of his 18 factors got here after Minnesota made it a six-point spurt in the fourth sector. “It’s going to be a one of a kind man every night,” Williams stated. “Trez turned into having a sluggish recreation, and then the last five mins he made all the big plays that we had to preserve far there. I assume that’s only a testimony to how we’re constructed.” Los Angeles, which entered as the second-maximum correct three-point taking pictures crew in the NBA, thrived from deep. The Clippers shot 16 for 32 from downtown. Gallinari hit a crew-excessive six 3s, which matched his season excessive. “They might be playing the high-quality basketball out of all of us within the league proper now,” Timberwolves period in-between educate Ryan Saunders said. Minnesota was yet again brief-passed, as many vital gamers — together with Derrick Rose, Robert Covington, and Jeff Teague — have been shut down for the rest of the season.

Clippers: G Landry Shamet did no longer play because of ankle harm. Shame is averaging eleven.2 factors according to recreation on account that he was traded to the Clippers in early February. Rivers said Shamet could’ve performed if it were a playoff sport. … Garrett Temple scored 15 points, his maximum general because he turned into obtained by the Clippers in early February. Timberwolves: F Taj Gibson neglected his third instantly recreation with a calf injury. … Towns didn’t convert his first field purpose until there has been four:53 final in the 0.33 zone. Before that, he became 0 for seven from the ground. … Towns’ double-double turned into his fiftieth of the season. … Minnesota becomes 20 of 33 from the free throw line. UP NEXT Clippers: At the Milwaukee Bucks on Thursday night. Timberwolves: Host the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

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