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Sonics Need To Beat Clippers For Shot At Title In The Pacific

Sat., April 19, 1997, midnight

Seattle SuperSonics coach George Karl had a chance to get us all excited, for once, about the Los Angeles Clippers coming to town, and he blew it.

Even though the Sonics need to win tonight’s game at KeyArena against the Clippers to have a chance to capture the Pacific Division, Karl still said the game is no more important than a mid-January clash against, uh, the Clippers.

You can say that when all the tickets are sold.

“That phrase ‘must-win’ hasn’t come into my mentality all year,” Karl said. “Must-win doesn’t start until next week (in the playoffs).”

Still, tonight’s game will have a lot to do with against who and where those must-win playoff games will be played, starting Friday at KeyArena.

The Sonics enter tonight’s regular season finale at 56-25 and tied with the Lakers, who beat the same Clippers 123-95 Friday night.

If the Sonics win against a Clippers team that has lost 31 of its past 33 in Seattle, they could win the Pacific Division outright if the Lakers lose at Portland on Sunday afternoon. Any other scenario and the Lakers will be the official Pacific Division champs, even if both teams finish at 57-25, because they won the season series with Seattle.

Tags: basketball

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