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Hornets, Pacers Clinch Playoff Spots, Thunder Tops Division

The New Orleans Hornets defeated the Houston Rockets 101-93 and the Indiana Pacers beat the Washington Wizards 136-112 to clinch National Basketball Association playoff spots.

The Oklahoma City Thunder (52-26) sealed the Northwest Division title last night with their 112-108 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

At Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, Danny Granger scored 25 points to lead the Pacers (36-43) to their first postseason spot since 2006. The team had to wait until the Orlando Magic beat the Charlotte Bobcats 111-102 in overtime to complete the Eastern Conference’s playoff lineup.

In New Orleans, Chris Paul had 28 points for the Hornets (45-33), who made the playoffs for the third time in four seasons. Trevor Ariza and Jarrett Jack each scored 19 points.

In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 29 points and Russell Westbrook added 26 for the Thunder. It’s the first time the franchise has won the division since 2005, when it was based in Seattle. Blake Griffin had 35 points and 11 rebounds for the Clippers.

One playoff berth remains to be settled in the Western Conference. The Memphis Grizzlies (44-34) are eighth, 3 1/2 games ahead of the Rockets (41-38) in ninth, with the Phoenix Suns a further 2 1/2 games back. The Suns improved to 38-40 with a 108-98 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves last night.

The Grizzlies and Suns each have four games remaining, while Houston has three to play.

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