Jazz, Clippers Play Meaningless Season Finale In L.A.
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – With nothing to play for in the regular season finale against the LA Clippers, the Utah Jazz sent out a group of players who usually come off the bench to start the game.
Forward Joe Ingles was the only usual starter in a group that also included Grayson Allen, Royce O’Neale, Jae Crowder and Ekpe Udoh.
The Jazz’s injury report prior to tip off included seven names that were ruled out either due to some sort of soreness or need to recover from a previous injury. Many believed that the Jazz were resting many of their stars in preparation for the upcoming playoffs.
The list of players ruled out for the Jazz included Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert, Kyle Korver, Derrick Favors, Dante Exum, Raul Neto and Ricky Rubio.
The Clippers, thanks to wins by the San Antonio Spurs and Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, were locked into the eighth seed and also had nothing to play for against Utah.
Eyes On Portland
Going into the final game against the Clippers, the Jazz had the fifth seed in the playoffs secured. The only thing to be determined was their opponent.
The Jazz’s fate was almost entirely in the hands of the Portland Trail Blazers, who could move either up to the third seed or down to the fourth seed depending on the outcome of their game against the Sacramento Kings and the outcome of the Denver Nuggets’ game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. A loss by Portland would assure that the Trail Blazers would have the fourth seed and face the Jazz in the first round.
Eariler in the day on Wednesday, the Trail Blazers announced that they would rest All-Star guard Damian Lillard but switched things up just before their game and made the former Weber State great available for the contest. He was not in the starting lineup, however.
Utah Jazz Scoreboard
Utah Jazz Team Leaders
Utah Jazz Standings