LOS ANGELES, April 16 (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Clippers may have done themselves a favor by not sweeping a season series from the Seattle SuperSonics for the first time ever.

Ray Allen scored 21 points and Nick Collison added 19 off the bench to lead the SuperSonics to a 114-98 victory over the Clippers, who moved a step closer to the sixth seed in the Western Conference.

NBA TV highlights from
Los Angeles (46-34) fell one game behind Memphis (47-33) in the playoff race and would face Denver (44-36) in the first round if it finishes sixth. Whoever finishes fifth will face either Dallas or San Antonio - both 60-win teams - to start the playoffs.

"Playoff basketball is totally different. I won a championship and lost six games in a row (in the regular season). I don't buy this momentum thing," Clippers guard Sam Cassell said. "What is momentum? Every games is different. We are not playing bad basketball. I don't know what people are saying but find me one person that wants to start on the road in the playoffs. Everyone wants to start at home."

Luke Ridnour scored 14 of his 17 points in the first quarter for Seattle, which built a 38-27 lead after the opening 12 minutes and stretched the advantage to as many as 30 points in the second half.

"We kind of got control of the game and maintained it through the first half. We are not a particularly good third quarter team as all of us in Seattle know," Seattle coach Bob Hill said. "We were up by 11 the other night in Seattle and they go 9-0 run to start the third. So I let them go 4-0 this time and then called timeout. Fortunately we came out of that timeout and responded and then it was pretty much just keeping them at bay."

Allen scored 11 points in the second quarter for Seattle, which led 67-51 at the break and snapped a three-game losing streak.

Elton Brand scored 22 points and had seven rebounds and Shaun Livingston had 18 points for the Clippers, who had 12 players log at least 10 minutes.

"We can definitely throw this game out with the guys we were missing. We are trying to win every game," Brand said. "We just want to be healthy for the playoffs. It is not as tough losing when you have earned a playoff position and know you are going to be in the playoffs. It still hurts to lose but not as bad."