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SUPERSONICS FINALLY SOLVE L.A.'S 4-GAME DOMINATION

Seattle cleared one psychological hurdle on the way to the playoffs.

The Los Angeles Lakers, a potential first-round playoff opponent for the SuperSonics, had beaten them in four games this season. On Tuesday night, Seattle scored a decisive victory, 113-97."There was no message to be sent," guard Gary Payton said. "We were just playing. We're looking forward to playing anybody in the playoffs, but we ain't worried about the playoffs right now."

The Portland Trail Blazers, meanwhile, weren't worried about the playoffs, either. Some players mistakenly thought they already had a postseason berth going into their game at Golden State.

"We were in, weren't we?," guard Rod Strickland said after a 103-102 loss to the Warriors.

Actually, Portland got in by virtue of Sacramento's 111-101 loss at Phoenix.

The Sonics built a 37-point lead in the third quarter and outrebounded the Lakers 47-32.

Warriors 103, Trail Blazers 102

Portland clinched a playoff berth for the 13th straight season despite falling at Golden State.

Suns 111, Kings 101

Phoenix continued its late-season surge with a win over Sacramento, which saw its playoff chances dim with a third straight loss.

Spurs 107, Nuggets 96

San Antonio moved within one win of clinching the NBA's best record with a victory over Denver, a likely first-round playoff oppponent. Avery Johnson scored a career-high 29 points.

Pistons 85, Cavaliers 76

With its seventh loss in nine games, Cleveland is limping into the playoffs. The latest setback came at Detroit, which snapped a five-game losing streak despite scoring only one point in the fourth quarter's first six minutes. Grant Hill scored 26 points and Allan Houston added 23.

Mavericks 104, Clippers 91

After a win over Los Angeles, Dallas was still holding on to its playoffs hopes.

The Mavericks stayed alive in the race for the conference's last playoff spot because of Denver's loss at San Antonio. Dallas trails the Nuggets by two games with three games remaining.