LOS ANGELES, May 1 (Ticker) -- The Los Angeles Clippers are headed to uncharted territory.

Cuttino Mobley and Corey Maggette scored 23 points apiece as the Clippers advanced out of the first round of the playoffs for the first time in 30 years with a 101-83 victory over the Denver Nuggets.

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In closing out the Western Conference encounter in five games, the sixth-seeded Clippers have made it out of the opening round for the first time since 1976, when the franchise was known as the Buffalo Braves.

"Obviously for us, it is a great day," Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy said. "Our guys came out focused but Denver made a hard run at us. They fought the whole way. Fortunately for us, we kept coming and broke it open in the second half. Our guys did a great job defensively."

"This is absolutely satisfying," Clippers forward Elton Brand said. "It's like vindication because we worked so hard and this organization didn't give up. We definitely have the confidence to go out there, advance again and keep going. We feel we can beat every team out there."

The Clippers had struggled mightily since the franchise moved to California in 1978. But behind Brand and a core of veterans that includes Mobley and Sam Cassell, the outlook for the once-maligned franchise has changed.

"Everything worked well," Cassell said. "We are deep. And it is so pleasant for me to sit on the bench and only play 24 minutes per night and my ballclub is still in the game. All that added rest I can get in the early round fits me perfectly."

"The fans were the X factor in this series," Maggette said. "This is Elton's and my first playoff series and we were still a little nervous out there, but the fans gave us support and we were out there pushing and playing hard."

An eight-year veteran who is in his first year with the team, Mobley paced five players in double figures Monday as the Clippers closed out the disappointing and third-seeded Nuggets, who struggled to find offense throughout the series.

"Tonight, we just went hard at them and attacked them," Mobley said. "The more you attack a team, they are not going to keep fighting back. They will fold. When you are down, 3-1, you are thinking it's time to give up and we just kept after them."

The Clippers displayed their maturity and a killer instinct, using a 16-3 run over the final 5:50 of the third quarter to open a 71-57 lead.

Mobley's basket with 6:11 remaining in the contest gave the Clippers their biggest lead at 88-63. The Nuggets used a 16-4 run in less than four minutes but could get no closer.

Brand had 21 points and 13 rebounds and Shaun Livingston handed out 14 assists for the Clippers, who will meet either second-seeded Phoenix or the archrival and seventh-seeded Los Angeles Lakers in the conference semifinals.

"We are proud of what we have done," Brand said. "But we have loftier goals so we have to stay focused. This is a great feeling. I might not appreciate it until we start the second round, but it (has) been 30 years in the making. The fans really supported us so it feels good. We're trying to start our own tradition and win some more playoff games."

Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points and Greg Buckner 20 for the Nuggets, who shot 37 percent (34-of-92). Denver shot less than 40 percent in four of the five games in the series.

"We lost the first two games," Anthony said. "And I think that shot our confidence a little bit. We won Game 3 at home and gave one away in Game 4. It was kind of an embarrassing moment."

After a disheartening 100-86 loss at home in Game 4 on Saturday, the Nuggets came out feisty and held a 32-29 lead with 7:31 left in the first half on Buckner's 3-pointer.

But Mobley scored six points and Maggette five as the Clippers closed the half on a 17-8 burst to take the lead for good.

"The pressure is on Sam and myself," Mobley said. "We came in to give these guys some experience. We said, 'Not to be afraid, take chances and not to be scared to make some mistakes.' Being aggressive put Denver on their heels, which is a good thing."

"I feel like this team was made for the playoffs," Dunleavy said. "We can match up with anybody and we can play any way. We can go big or we can go small. We can play fast and we can play slow. Whoever our opponent is, we can match up and defend them."