|Date of game: 4/16/2014
Recap: Portland vs. LA Clippers
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Will Barton dropped in a career-high 23 points as the Portland Trail Blazers topped the Los Angeles Clippers, 110-104, on Wednesday in the season finale for both teams.
The Blazers played their usual starters, minus LaMarcus Aldridge, for about a quarter each. Robin Lopez, who saw the most time at just over 14 minutes, recorded 15 points with nine rebounds.
"With the guys that were playing tonight, I felt like I had to step up and be more of a leader," said Barton. "I just tried to be a little more vocal."
C.J. McCollum and Victor Claver each contributed 12 points in the win.
Portland (54-28) was locked in the fifth spot in the Western Conference and will travel to Houston for its first-round matchup on Sunday.
Jamal Crawford led all scorers with 34 points in the setback, while Darren Collison and Matt Barnes added 19 points apiece for the Clippers.
LA had a slim chance to lock up the No. 2 seed in the West, but needed lowly Detroit to defeat Oklahoma City earlier in the night.
The Pistons gave it a good effort, but eventually fell 112-111. Los Angeles (57-25) will settle for the No. 3 seed and host the Golden State Warriors on Saturday.
The Clippers were without Blake Griffin, JJ Redick and Chris Paul. Griffin was suspended for the game because he picked up his 16th technical foul of the season on Tuesday, while Redick and Paul were held out to rest.
"I wasn't real happy the way we played in the first half, but guys came in the second half focused," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. "I was really happy the way we played in the second half and competed."
Wesley Matthews opened the scoring in the first with a 3-pointer that started an 11-3 run for the Blazers.
Lopez's dunk stretched the first quarter margin to 21-8 minutes later. But LA cut the deficit to five before Lillard's 3-pointer staked the Blazers to a 37-29 lead after 12 minutes.
Portland led by as many as 22 in the second and took a 68-52 lead into the break.
Los Angeles came storming back in the third courtesy of a 26-8 run. Crawford scored 15 points during the surge and Collison capped it with a three-point play to give the Clippers a 78-76 lead.
LA brought an 85-82 lead into the fourth quarter.
Portland had the lead, 103-98, with 2 1/3 minutes left when Barnes made a layup to make it a one-possession game. Claver responded with a 3 that essentially sealed it for the hosts.Game Notes
Lopez set the franchise record for offensive rebounds in a season with 326 ...
Portland shot 42-for-101 (41.6 percent) from the field ... LA made 34-of-84
(40.5 percent) of its attempts from the floor ... The Clippers scored 19
points off of 10 Blazers turnovers ... Portland owned a 65-42 margin in