The Los Angeles Clippers will need some help from the lowly Detroit Pistons.
LA needs to win at Portland on Wednesday night, while the 29-52 Pistons have to beat the Thunder in Oklahoma City for it to earn the two seed. DeAndre Jordan tallied 13 points and 16 rebounds for the Clippers, whose 57 wins surpassed the mark set last season.
They've won 20 of their last 24 games.
Kenneth Faried had 21 points and six rebounds and Timofey Mozgov supplied 18 points and 11 boards for Denver, which had its three-game winning streak snapped.
The Clippers led by as many as 23 in the third quarter, but Denver closed the frame on a 19-4 run to get back in it. Mozgov, who had seven points during the surge, capped it with a three-point play to whittle the deficit to 88-80 after three.
Quincy Miller's runner got Denver within 91-86 with 8:44 to go, but LA countered with a 10-2 spurt to regain control of the contest. Jamal Crawford's layup ended the swing and upped the advantage to 101-88 midway through the stanza.
Denver never got within less than eight down the stretch.
Earlier, Paul netted six quick points as the Clippers raced out to a 13-0 start. They led 38-26 after one quarter of play and headed into the break with a 63-46 cushion.