Thunder Vs. Clippers: L.A. Looking To Inch Closer To Lakers In Division Standings

April 11, 2012; Oklahoma City OK, USA; Los Angeles Clippers power forward Blake Griffin (32) shoots the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Nick Collison (4) and Oklahoma City Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka (9) during the fourth quarter at Chesapeake Energy Arena Mandatory Credit: Richard Rowe-US PRESSWIRE

The Los Angeles Clippers are hoping to move closer to upending the Lakers in the division standings when they play the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday night. If they're unable to do that, the game could serve as a second round preview of the NBA Playoffs.

The Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers are both going to be in the NBA Playoffs, but that doesn't mean Monday night's late-season meeting between the two teams isn't meaningful. It might not have any bearing on the remainder of the regular season, but it could serve as a postseason preview.

The Thunder are currently the top seed in the Western Conference while the Clippers have a pretty firm grasp on fourth place as the standings currently sit. If things stay that way, and there's a decent possibility they will, the two teams would meet in the second round of the playoffs with a trip to the conference finals on the line.

Aside from looking toward the future, both teams will be theoretically battling for playoff positioning as well when the game tips off at 10:30 p.m. on NBA TV. The Clippers still have a chance to upend the Lakers, giving them the division lead and the third seed instead of the fourth where as the Thunder are trying to hold off the San Antonio Spurs as the top team in the West.

Knowing that, it'll be interesting to see how Monday's game shakes out. The Clippers probably have the momentum considering they've won 11 of their past 13 games -- including one over the Thunder already -- but Oklahoma City is one of the toughest outs in the league this season.

For more on the Thunder, be sure to visit Welcome to Loud City. For Clippers news and views, check out Clips Nation.

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