LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Clippers downed the Denver Nuggets 117-105 for their club-record 57th victory of the season Tuesday, while the New York Knicks, playing without the injured Carmelo Anthony, beat the Brooklyn Nets 109-98 to win the season series between city rivals.
Blake Griffin scored 24 points while picking up his 16th technical foul as Los Angeles led all the way.
Chris Paul had 21 points and 10 assists, and J.J. Redick added 18 points in the Clippers’ finale at home, where they went 34-7 for another franchise mark. DeAndre Jordan had 13 points and 16 rebounds.
The win kept the Clippers in the hunt for the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. They would need to win at Portland and Oklahoma City would need to lose to Detroit on Wednesday for the Clippers to claim the second spot. Otherwise, they will remain the third seed.
Los Angeles will have to get by without Griffin on the road since his 16th technical triggered a league-mandated one-game suspension
In New York, Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 16 points, and Amare Stoudemire and J.R. Smith each added 14 as the Knicks prevented the Nets from clinching the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Anthony had an MRI exam Tuesday that revealed a torn labrum in his right shoulder. He won’t play Wednesday against Toronto, the final game of the first season in his 11-year career that won’t end with a playoff berth — and potentially his last as a member of the Knicks. He has said he will become a free agent in July.
Marcus Thornton scored 24 points for the Nets, who weren’t sharp despite playing starters Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Deron Williams and Joe Johnson. The other starter, Shaun Livingston, remained sidelined with a sprained right big toe.
The Nets still have a magic number of one for finishing fifth. But they could fall to No. 6 if they lose Wednesday in Cleveland and Washington beats Boston.