There was little margin for error in the NBA’s Western Conference standings, and so the New Orleans Pelicans left no doubt.
The Pelicans routed the Los Angeles Clippers 113-100 on Monday night to clinch a playoff berth for the first time since the 2014-15 season. It completed a 3-0 road trip for New Orleans, which also won at Phoenix and Golden State to set up the clincher.
The Pelicans (47-34) punched their ticket in style.
Anthony Davis scored 28 points, including a highlight-reel dunk in the third quarter when he jammed home a feed that Rajon Rondo bounced off the backboard. Nikola Mirotic added 24 points and 16 rebounds.