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Los Angeles Times / Sports

Clippers move into a playoff spot thanks to Nuggets loss

Today, the Clippers are in the playoffs as the eighth seed in the unpredictable Western Conference. Tomorrow, the Clippers have no idea where they will be standing in the up and down West playoff picture.

Today, the Clippers are in the playoffs as the eighth seed in the unpredictable Western Conference.

They arrived in this postseason spot without even playing a game, winding up there after the Denver Nuggets fell to the ninth position following a loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers Thursday night.

So before the Clippers practiced Thursday in preparation for Friday night's game against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Staples Center, Lou Williams was asked how it felt to know that the 34-29 Clippers are the eighth seed.

Denver (35-30) and Utah (35-30) are tied for the ninth seed.

"Are we?" Williams asked. "That's interesting."

The Clippers lost a tough game to New Orleans Wednesday night, and missed out on that opportunity to take the eighth spot because Denver lost at Dallas.

But one day later, the Clippers moved from ninth and out of the playoffs to into the playoffs.

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"Like, we lost a tough one the other night, where we didn't play well, honestly. And that happens," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "And then at the end, we should have won, even though we didn't play well and we didn't execute down the stretch. You feel bad about it. And then the next day you get home and you see a (Denver) team has lost to Dallas and you're like, 'Oh, Ok. That helps.' But that's the way it's going to be the rest of the year.

"Every game counts. You're going to play really good teams that the other team is hoping that you don't win that game. And if you win that game, it hurts them emotionally. I think it's a lot of fun. It's good to be in this position."

In his typical cool manner, Williams paused a beat and continued to talk about the crowded playoff field in the West.

Only four games separate the 10th seed from the third seed.

"It's a tight race," Williams said. "From three to 10, it's a tight race. Nobody can afford some slippage right now, and that shows. Like you said, we're sitting at home and things are changing around. So, that gives us added incentive to come in and do our job."

Etc: Clippers rookie guard Jawun Evans, who has been out about seven weeks with a sore lower abdominal injury, has been listed as questionable for Friday night's game. Evans, who missed 17 games, practiced Wednesday and Thursday, and is hopeful that he'll be activated. But Rivers wasn't sure if Evans would play.

CLIPPERS tonight


When: 7:30 p.m.

On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 570, 1330.

Update: LeBron James is having another outstanding season. He is fourth in the NBA in scoring (27.0), second in assists (9.), seventh in double-doubles (37) and second in triple-doubles (13).


Follow Broderick Turner on Twitter @BA_Turner