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Jazz clinch playoff spot, positioning still to be determined

The Utah Jazz clinched a spot in the Western Conference Playoff race Sunday night with a blowout win over the shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers. Without Brandon Ingram, Isaiah Thomas, Lonzo Ball, and former Ute Kyle Kuzma, the Lakes put up little effort in preventing the Jazz from being the fourth team in the West to clinch a postseason berth.

Having already clinched a spot alongside the Jazz are the Houston Rockets who have locked up the number one seed, the Golden State Warriors who are slated for the two seed, and the Portland Trail Blazers who currently sit third. The Jazz can overtake the Blazers in the standings should they beat the Warriors on Tuesday, and by getting in win in Portland on Wednesday.

Having already punched their ticket is a remarkable accomplishment for the Jazz, who at one point in January, sat nine games under .500 after losing to a miserable Atlanta Hawks team on the road. The Jazz have lost just one of their last 16 road games since, having pulled to an even 20-20 on the road for the season.

Though the Jazz know they are playoff bound, their positioning and opponent are still up in the air. With two games remaining for every Western Conference team, only two games separate the Jazz and the 9th seeded Denver Nuggets, with the Oklahoma City Thunder, San Antonio Spurs, and New Orleans Pelicans all sit just one game behind the Jazz. The Minnesota Timberwolves are tied with the Nuggets two games behind the Jazz.

The Jazz own heads-up tiebreakers against the Spurs and Pelicans, but would fall behind in the playoff standings in heads-up ties with the Thunder and Timberwolves. Ties between three teams or more are decided by the combined record against the tied teams.

Here is a breakdown of games remaining for each opponent.

Utah Jazz: 

At home vs. Golden State Warriors

On the road vs. Portland Trail Blazers

New Orleans Pelicans:

On the road vs. Los Angeles Clippers

At home vs. San Antonio Spurs

San Antonio Spurs:

At home vs. Sacramento Kings

On the road vs. New Orleans Pelicans

Oklahoma City Thunder: 

On the road vs. Miami Heat

At home vs. Memphis Grizzlies

Minnesota Timberwolves:

At home vs. Memphis Grizzlies

At home vs. Denver Nuggets

Denver Nuggets:

At home vs. Portland Trail Blazers

On the road vs. Minnesota Timberwolves


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