L.A. Clippers 85, Dallas 71
DALLAS, April 19 (Ticker) --
While key players like Elton Brand
rested before the start of the postseason,
got in some much-needed work.
Maggette collected 18 points and 11 rebounds in 27 minutes as
the Los Angeles Clippers posted a 85-71 triumph over the Dallas
Mavericks in the regular-season finale for both playoff-bound
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Playing for the first time in eight games, Maggette's return is
a welcomed sight for the Clippers, who had to do without the
dynamic forward for 45 games earlier this season because of a
"(Getting out there and playing well) was important to me,"
Maggette said. "I just wanted to test it out in a game like
situation before we went to the big dance. It was good to go
out there and play. Everything went well and we're going to go
"He got back in rhythm and that's good for us," Clippers coach
said. "You saw how explosive he is. A guy being
able to come in and put points on the board like that is very
important to us."
Los Angeles (47-35), which finished two wins shy of tying the
franchise record, is the sixth seed in the Western Conference
playoffs and will face third-seeded Denver in the first round.
"They're a good team," Brand said of Denver. "We're expecting a
battle. We're going to try to limit them with their fast-break
points because that's what they do. They get up and down and
that's one of the things we're focused on. We've got to limit
their fast break points because they're tops in the league."
Although the Nuggets (44-37) are the higher seed because they
won the Northwest Division, the Clippers will have home-court
advantage in the series because of their better record.
"From our standpoint, it was a great season," Dunleavy said. "We
accomplished the goals we set out to accomplish; making the
playoffs and getting home court."
Dallas (60-22) is the fourth seed in the West despite having the
second-most wins in the conference and having the third-best
record in the NBA. The Mavericks will face Memphis in their
"Every game (against Memphis this year) was hard fought,"
Nowitzki said. "I think they are a well-coached team. They're
one of the best defensive teams in the league. They can spread
the floor with all of their shooters around. That's their
strength. They're a tough team to play and a tough team to
beat. It's going to be a fun series."