National Basketball Association
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            === Pacific-champion Clippers welcome Wolves to L.A. ===
 (Sports  Network) -  The Los  Angeles  Clippers clinched  their first  Pacific
 Division crown earlier in the week, but still have a lot to play for, starting
 Wednesday when they host the Minnesota Timberwolves.
 The Clippers sit fourth in the Western Conference, although they are two games
 behind  the Denver  Nuggets  for the  third seed.  There's  a huge  difference
 between  the seeds as most likely the fourth seed will play either the Memphis
 Grizzlies  or Nuggets,  as opposed  to the  Golden State  Warriors or  Houston
 Rockets, depending on which team gets the sixth seed.
 One  of  the most important  pieces for the  Clippers returned to the practice
 court on Tuesday.
 Chauncey  Billups hit the court for the first time since aggravating his right
 groin  injury on March 27. The Clippers are unsure of Billups' availability on
 "We definitely want him back as soon as possible, but at the end of the day we
 want  him healthy," guard  Chris Paul said. "We plan on playing for a while so
 we  want him to  be as fresh and healthy as possible. Him coming back for some
 games gives us more of a rhythm and I think gives us confidence, too."
 The  Clippers clinched the Pacific Division on Sunday against their co-tenants
 at the Staples Center - the Lakers. The Clips buried the Lakers 109-95 to earn
 the  first Pacific  title in the 42-year history of the franchise and polished
 off  the  first season sweep  of the Lakers since  the 1974-75 season when the
 Clippers were the Buffalo Braves.
 "This  is my first  division win, but we kind of had the mindset that this was
 what we're supposed to do," Blake Griffin said.
 The  Timberwolves  fell to the Golden  State Warriors 105-89 on Tuesday to get
 the  Warriors  into the postseason. It  was the first game for Minnesota since
 head coach Rick Adelman earned his 1,000th career victory.
 "They  have  a great  shooting team, but  I still think  it was our impatience
 offensively  more than  anything else," Adelman said of the Warriors loss. "We
 got  impatient  the last three  minutes of the  second quarter and whole third
 quarter. They just opened it up."
 Chase  Budinger led  the way for the T'Wolves with 17 points. Andrei Kirilenko
 chipped in 15, followed by 13 from J.J. Barea and 11 from Dante Cunningham.
 Kirilenko  was  the only starter to  score in double digits. Derrick Williams,
 Nikola  Pekovic,  Luke Ridnour and Ricky  Rubio combined for just 23 points as
 Minny shot 36.7 percent from the field.
 The  Clippers have  won all three matchups this season with Minnesota and four
 in  a row overall. Minnesota has lost five of its last seven as the visitor in
 this series.
 04/10 10:18:08 ET

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