Regular Season Series (Game 4 of 4)

Series starts 11/2

Game 1: Wednesday, November 2nd
Game 2: Saturday, January 14th
Game 3: Friday, April 14th
Game 4: Sunday, April 16th

SuperSonics 114

(34-46, 13-27 away)

Clippers 98

(46-34, 27-14 home)

    6:00 PM ET, April 16, 2006

    STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA

    1 2 3 4 T
    SEA 38 29 33 14114
    LAC 27 24 23 2498

    Top Performers

    Sea: R. Allen 21 Pts, 7 Reb, 6 Ast, 2 Stl

    LAC: E. Brand 22 Pts, 7 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Blk

    Allen leads Sonics past playoff-bound Clippers

    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Chris Wilcox missed the boat that's transporting the Los Angeles Clippers to the playoffs without him. Now he's with the Seattle SuperSonics, who are staying home this year.

    But that's all right with the four-year veteran, because he's getting a chance now to establish himself as an NBA regular. And with his ability, the Sonics may not be too far from being a playoff team themselves.

    Wilcox had nine points and eight rebounds to supplement Ray Allen's 21 points, and Seattle ruined the Clippers' final regular-season home game with a 114-98 rout on Sunday night.

    "I just want to win, and that's better than me playing a great game," Wilcox said. "I've been able to step up and do some of the same things that I could have done if I was here, so this was a great opportunity for me. I wasn't going to get the minutes here because I was playing behind Elton Brand, and he's an All-Star. So they found a spot where I could go and be successful."

    Brand had 22 points and seven rebounds for Los Angeles, which finished its home schedule with a 27-14 record -- the same as last season. The loss prevented the Clippers from completing a four-game season sweep, which would have been their first against Seattle.

    Wilcox, who was picked by the Clippers eighth overall in the 2002 draft, played against his former teammates for the first time since the Feb. 14 trade that sent him to Seattle in exchange for Vladimir Radmanovic. Wilcox didn't play against them in Friday's 101-97 loss at Seattle because of a sprained right foot.

    "He wasn't doing the Clippers any good sitting on their bench, so it's better that they sent him to us so that we can use him to get rebounds for us and be able to finish," Allen said.

    "He's a great talent. I always hated playing against him because he was always more athletic than our bigs. And if there was a rebound opportunity, he always got it. But the way (Chris) Kaman and Brand have played, it was tough for him to get minutes. So they had the make the decision they made for the benefit of both teams."

    Radmanovic had eight points in 20 minutes for the Clippers, who are 16-15 since the trade and are headed to the playoffs for the first time since 1997. Seattle is 14-15 since acquiring Wilcox, and will miss the postseason for the third time in four years.

    "I think that since I left, they knew there was no more chance for the playoffs," Radmanovic said. "They've been playing younger players and trying to build the team up for next year. It's hard to see that, but I'm really happy that I'm in the playoffs."

    The Clippers' fourth loss in six games prevented them from tying Memphis for the fifth seed in the Western Conference, and put them a game behind the Grizzlies. Memphis holds the tiebreaker advantage, having taken two of three in the season series.

    A fifth-place finish would likely match the Clippers against the Dallas Mavericks. By finishing sixth, the Clippers would play the Denver Nuggets and would have home-court advantage over the third-seeded champions of the Northwest Division -- having beaten the Nuggets 3-1 in the season series.

    Therefore, the winner of Tuesday night's Clippers-Memphis contest could end up with a better chance of facing Dallas (60-21) than Denver (44-36) in the first round.

    "Dallas is a tough match for anybody, so whoever's sitting in sixth is a lot better off than the team sitting in fifth," Kaman said. "They're a beatable team, but we haven't beaten them this year.

    "Obviously right now, Denver is probably a little bit easier for us than Dallas, so we're happy with the sixth spot right now. But I don't think anybody's going to do anything intentionally to try and lose a game because there's too much pride in this lockerroom. I think Mike is way too competitive for that. He gets mad over the smallest detail on defense, so how could he ever be like that?"

    Los Angeles used its 18th different starting lineup. Kaman was scratched because of a sore left knee and Zeljko Rebraca made his second start of the season in his place. Corey Maggette also was on the inactive list with back spasms, as was Cuttino Mobley due to a sore right ankle.

    Game notes

    Despite this loss, April 16 has been a red-letter day in Clippers history. They clinched a playoff berth on this date in 1992 and 1993 under Larry Brown. ... The Clippers (46-34) have the fourth-best record of any team Mike Dunleavy has coached in the NBA during his 13 seasons. His best regular season was in 1999-00, when Portland finished 59-23. ... The Clippers' average home attendance was 17,376, the second-highest in the franchise's 36-year history. They averaged 18,053 in 2001-02, Brand's first season with the team. ... The Clippers are 145-141 at Staples Center since the building opened in October 1999. That doesn't count the 3-11 mark they've had when the Lakers were the designated home team.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 114 98
    FGM-FGA 40-74 (.541) 35-77 (.455)
    3PM-3PA 7-16 (.438) 3-8 (.375)
    FTM-FTA 27-38 (.711) 25-32 (.781)
    Rebounds (Offensive-Total) 7-36 15-43
    Assists 29 26
    Turnovers 12 16
    Steals 10 7
    Blocks 6 5
    Fast Break Points 11 6
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 20 (1/0) 23 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 30 2

    Top Performers

    Los Angeles
    Ray Allen Allen
    Points: 21
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 6
    Stl: 2
    Blk: 0
    Elton Brand Brand
    Points: 22
    Reb: 7
    Ast: 1
    Stl: 0
    Blk: 2