Jazz Magic Number Sits At 2 To Clinch Playoff Spot
SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Jazz magic number to clinch a playoff spot and avoid the NBA play-in tournament sits at two after Thursday’s win over the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Jazz have just five games remaining in the regular season and currently sit in the fifth seed in the West, tied with the Denver Nuggets with a record of 46-31.
The Jazz sit above Denver in the standings as they own the tiebreaker over the Nuggets having swept the season series four games to none.
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However, the Nuggets aren’t the team the Jazz need to be keeping an eye on in order to clinch a playoff birth.
The Minnesota Timberwolves currently sit three games back of the Jazz with five games left to play and would be unable to overtake them in the standings with any combination of two Jazz wins or two Timberwolves losses.
Like the Nuggets, the Jazz own the tiebreaker over the Timberwolves having beaten Minnesota in three of their four matchups to win the season series.
That means the Jazz could clinch a spot in the top six of the Western Conference playoffs as soon as Saturday night depending on the outcome of Friday’s game between the Nuggets and the Timberwolves.
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Should Denver beat Minnesota, and the Jazz beat the Golden State Warriors on the road Saturday, the Jazz will have guaranteed themselves a spot in the top six of the West before opening a three-game home stretch beginning next Tuesday.
If the Timberwolves were to beat Denver and the Jazz were to lose to Golden State, Minnesota’s odds of overtaking the Jazz in the playoffs would increase significantly due to the ease of their schedule to close the year, and the difficult road upcoming for the Jazz.
Here’s a look at the final five games for both the Jazz and the Timberwolves to close the season:
Jazz Final Five:
@ Golden State Warriors
Vs. Memphis Grizzlies
Vs. Oklahoma City Thunder
Vs. Phoenix Suns
@ Portland Trail Blazers
Timberwolves Final Five:
@ Denver Nuggets
@ Houston Rockets
Vs. Washington Wizards
Vs. San Antonio Spurs
Vs. Chicago Bulls
Utah Jazz Scoreboard
Utah Jazz Team Leaders
Utah Jazz Standings