The Utah Jazz captured a comeback home win Saturday night, defeating the Orlando Magic 117-107 in overtime, leaving the Jazz alone in eighth place as they try to capture the final playoff spot in teh Western Conference. Al Jefferson scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for the Jazz (34-30), who still have two home games remaining.
The Phoenix Suns (33-31) and Houston Rockets (33-31) are one game behind the Jazz with two games remaining. The Suns lost 118-107 at home to the Denver Nuggets on Saturday, while the Rockets beat the Golden State Warriors 99-96 in Houston.
The Jazz aren't out of the woods just yet, as they host the Suns on Tuesday night in a game that looms large in the battle for the No. 8 seed. The Suns have beaten the Jazz twice this season so they own the tiebreaker over Utah, but Phoenix has to win Tuesday to stay alive.
A Utah win over Phoenix Tuesday would eliminate Houston as well as the best the Rockets could hope for at that point is a tie with Utah, but the Jazz beat the Rockets in two of their three matchups this season, giving Utah the tiebreaker.
The Suns end their season with a home game against San Antonio, but the difficulty of that contest could depend on whether or not the Spurs have their playoff seed already set. The Rockets face a tough road test on Tuesday in South Florida against the Miami Heat.
Here are the Western Conference standings through Saturday, April 21.
|NBA Western Conference Standings|
||46-16||.742||---||2 home / 2 road|
||46-17||.730||½||2 home / 1 road|
||40-24||.625||7||1 home / 1 road|
|4||Clippers||39-24||.619||7½||1 home / 2 road|
|5||Memphis||39-25||.609||8||2 home / 0 road|
|6||Denver||35-28||.556||11½||1 home / 2 road|
||36-29||.554||11½||0 home / 1 road|
|8||Utah||34-30||.531||13||2 home / 0 road|
|9||Phoenix||33-31||.516||14||1 home / 1 road|
|9||Houston||33-31||.516||14||1 home / 1 road|
|Through games of April 21|