A Brief Game Seven History For The Utah Jazz
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz will face off in the franchise’s sixth ever game seven when they face the Denver Nuggets Tuesday night. The Jazz led the Nuggets three games to one in the best of seven series, but after consecutive losses, face a win or go home scenario. The winner of the series will face the Los Angeles Clippers in the Western Conference Semifinals, while the loser leaves the Orlando bubble.
The Jazz have a long history of playoff appearances. The team has made 29 trips to the postseason, including a stretch of 20 straight between 1984 and 2003. The Jazz have appeared in 53 individual series, with only five previous series resulting in a game seven.
It is worth noting that before the 2002-03 season, the opening-round round of the playoffs was a best of five series.
Jazz History of Game Sevens
April 30, 2017: First Round @ Los Angeles Clippers – 104-91, W
The Jazz stunned the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the playoffs by defeating the heavily favored team 104-91. The Clippers were led by Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and DeAndre Jordan.
Rudy Gobert was injured on the Jazz first offensive play of game one but returned later in the series. Gobert recorded just 1 point in the series finale and fouled out in 13 quiet minutes on the floor.
Gordon Hayward led the Jazz with 26 points, while reserve center Derrick Favors scored 17 points off the bench.
May 5, 2007: First Round @ Houston Rockets – 103-99, W
They say a playoff series doesn’t start until a team wins a game on the road. That was the case for the Jazz and Rockets in 2007. Each team protected home court until game seven when the Jazz surprised the Rockets 103-99.
Carlos Boozer led the Jazz with 35 points, 14 rebounds, and five assists. Guard Deron Williams scored 20 points and dished out 14 assists to beat the Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady led Rockets on the opening round.
June 2, 1996: WCF @ Seattle SuperSonics – 90-86, L
Perhaps the most painful game seven loss in franchise history. The Jazz came up five points short of a chance to go to the NBA Finals to face Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.
Karl Malone and John Stockton each scored 22 points for the Jazz, but Malone had an inefficient 8-22 outing and was outdueled by Shawn Kemp who scored 26 points on just 12 shot attempts.
May 21, 1994: WCS vs. Denver Nuggets – 91-81, W
The Jazz were nearly the first team in NBA history to blow a 3-0 series lead against the Nuggets in 1994. The Jazz survived 91-81 against the Dikembe Mutombo led squad and avoided becoming a part of history.
Karl Malone scored 31 in the series-clinching win, while Jeff Hornacek added 18 points and seven assists.
May 21, 1988: WCS @ Los Angeles Lakers – 109-98, L
In one of the most important series in Jazz history, the upstart team led by Karl Malone and John Stockton pushed the Showtime Lakers to a critical game seven of the Western Conference Semifinals before losing 109-98.
The Jazz future Hall of Famers combined for 60 points but came up short against the Magic Johnson-led Lakers
Jazz Players with Game Seven Experience
The Jazz currently have three players with game seven experience on the roster. Joe Ingles and Rudy Gobert each appeared in the Jazz game seven victory over the Clippers in 2017.
Mike Conley has appeared in three-game sevens, all losses with the Memphis Grizzlies. Conley’s Grizzlies were blown out by the Oklahoma City Thunder 105-90 in 2011, they lost 82-72 to the Los Angeles Clippers in 2012, and lost 120-109 against the Thunder in 2014.
The Jazz and Nuggets tip-off Tuesday at 6:30 pm MT. The game will be broadcast exclusively on ABC.
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