The Thunder clinched the Northwest Division with Wednesday night's 112-108 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers inside Oklahoma City Arena, so now OKC can concentrate on the team directly in front in the standings rather than the team directly behind.
The Thunder (52-26) trails Dallas (53-25) by only one game for the No. 3 seed in the Western Conference playoffs.
As it stands now, OKC is the No. 4 seed and likely would play No. 5-seeded Denver in the opening round.
The Nuggets (48-30), who beat the Mavericks 104-96 in Dallas on Wednesday, play at the Thunder on Friday night.
Clippers center Chris Kaman dominated the Thunder's Kendrick Perkins throughout the first half with an array of blocked shots and altered shots underneath. Perkins missed eight shots in the first half, probably from a combined 10 feet. Perkins learned his lesson and had only one field-goal attempt in the second half.
On the positive side, Perkins set a Thunder record with 10 offensive rebounds and finished with 17 total.
Oklahoma City police officer Chad Peery, who was paralyzed after being asked to break up a fight in a local bar while watching a Thunder game, was in attendance and received a standing ovation during a timeout late in the first half.
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