Utah Jazz Have Great Playoff History
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Since 1984, the Utah Jazz have enjoyed many years of being in the playoffs and competing for an NBA Championship.
Utah began their historic playoff run in 1984 with their first postseason appearance, since arriving in Salt Lake City from New Orleans. That began a streak of 20 straight seasons of reaching the playoffs.
During that span, the Jazz reached the second round 11 times, the conference finals five times and the NBA finals twice.
Overall, the Jazz will make their 28th playoff appearance this season. They reached the second round 16 times and the conference finals six times.
1984 – Facing Elimination
In their first appearance in the playoffs since moving to Utah, the Jazz faced elimination against the Denver Nuggets, trailing the series 2-1. Adrian Dantley had to score 39 points, while Darrell Griffith dropped 26 points to lift the Jazz to a 129-124 win in Denver.
The deciding game 5 went Utah’s way as they beat the Nuggets at home 127-111. Dantley had 30 points, Rickey Green added 29 and Griffith chipped in 24. The Jazz lost to the Phoenix Suns in six games in the second round.
‘Team To Be Reckoned With’
Before the historic run that the Jazz went on in the playoffs, Karl Malone made a promise that the Jazz would be a force to be reckoned with in the future. In the 1988 playoffs, Malone scored 37, 35 and 38 points respectively in games 2, 3 and 4 against the Trail Blazers to advance to the second round.
Utah lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in the second round in seven games, Malone scored 27 points or more in all seven games.
In 2000, Malone had a great start to the postseason, dropping 50 points in Game 1 of the first round series against the Seattle Supersonics. Utah lost to Portland in five games, ending the career of Jazz legend Jeff Hornacek.
The 2003 playoffs was the last time that Jazz fans would see the one of the best duos on the court together as Stockton retired and Malone went to Los Angeles to play for the Lakers for one season. The Jazz lost to the Sacramento Kings in five games in the first round.
In Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals, the Jazz were tied in the final moments when John Stockton drilled the biggest three-point shot in Utah Jazz history to send the team to their first ever NBA Finals appearance.
The Jazz faced the Chicago Bulls in two straight finals with Utah coming up short in both series.
New Era Begins
The following season after Stockton and Malone departed, the Jazz missed the playoffs in three straight years before Deron Williams, Carlos Boozers, Andrei Kirilenko and Mehmet Okur would lead Utah back to the postseason in 2007.
They knocked off Tracy McGrady, Yao Ming and the Houston Rockets in seven games in the first round, beat the No. 8-seed Golden State Warriors in five games in the second round before losing to the San Antonio Spurs in the Conference Finals in five games.
They would run into Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers the next three seasons – twice in the second round and once in the first round and lost all three series.
Quin Snyder Ends Four Year Drought
After Williams retired, while Boozer and Kirilenko left for other teams, the Utah Jazz went through a rebuilding stage that was centered around new head coach Quin Snyder and general manager Dennis Lindsey.
It took four seasons before the Jazz reached the playoffs. They beat the Los Angeles Clippers in seven games in 2017 before getting swept by the Golden State Warriors in the second round. Last season, the Jazz beat the Oklahoma City Thunder in six games, led by rookie Donovan Mitchell. They were eliminated in the second round in five games by the Houston Rockets.
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