This is it, Utah Jazz fans. Our guys have climbed that mountain and are going to be in the 2017 NBA Playoffs. But they still have a chance to make their own destiny with who they end up facing in the first round. The Jazz can into Playoffs, but that #PlayoffPush is still going on as there are only 8 more nights in the 2016-2017 NBA Regular season. There were a bunch of games last night, and a bunch more tonight. So let’s look at what happened “While you were sleeping,” on April 4th:
Another Western Conference team got eliminated from playoff contention, the Pellies are now officially a lotto team - bring DeMarcus’ streak of going to the lotto to seven years in a row.
-  Golden State Warriors beat  Minnesota Timberwolves, 121-107: Klay Thompson had 41 points.
-  San Antonio Spurs beat  Memphis Grizzlies, 95-89: Marc Gasol had 11 and 7, Pau Gasol had 12 and 11. Both of them were secondary factors as Kawhi Leonard dropped 32 and 12, and Zach Randolph had 18 and 16. (Picture above not from last night)
-  Utah Jazz beat  Portland Trail Blazers, 106-87: Rudy Gobert and Gordon Hayward are too big, encore.
-  Denver Nuggets beat  New Orleans Pelicans, 134-131: Everyone’s happy if no one is playing defense and there’s lots of stats to be had!
There’s no way that HOU can catch these two teams, and haven’t been any chance of that for a while. Also, there doesn’t seem to be a real way for SAS to catch GSW here, so both should coast to the NBA Playoffs. That’s good because UTA plays GSW and SAS still once more this month before the Playoffs start. UTA winning is the primary thing we all want, so it’s obviously good news when they do. POR losing is great because we hope that DEN surpasses them. Of course, we had hoped that POR would have been eliminated by now, but it’s a little too little a little too late.
-  Dallas Mavericks lost to the  Sacramento Kings, 98-87: Willie Cauley-Stein had 12 points and 16 rebounds. Nerlens Noel had 9 points and 10 rebounds.
Man, how soon I forget all the year when the Jazz were stuck in that 10, 11, 12, 13 seed in the West. These two teams don’t matter this season. What they do now is of no concern.
-  Oklahoma City Thunder beat the [East] Milwaukee Bucks, 110-79: Russell Westbrook had his 41st triple double of the season. It was a blowout, so he only played 27 minutes, but still manages 12 / 13 / 12.
UTA still has not clinched the division yet, thanks to OKC continuing to win. And I think they are going to hang around for a while. Thankfully OKC no longer has any Eastern conference teams to play anymore, and four of their last five games are on the road. Hope they start to lose a few more.
-  Golden State Warriors @  Phoenix Suns: Team on 12 game win streak visits team on 12 game losing streak.
-  San Antonio Spurs vs.  Los Angeles Lakers: Do they even have to try?
-  Houston Rockets vs.  Denver Nuggets: If Denver wants it, they need this one.
-  Los Angeles Clippers vs.  Dallas Mavericks: C’mon Dirk Nowitzki, have one more great game please!
-  Oklahoma City Thunder ‘@  Memphis Grizzlies: This is a big game, right? Maybe?
Any night that LAC, OKC, or MEM lose is great. OKC and MEM play each other so we’ll only have one of those two. So hopefully it’s OKC that takes the L. LAC losing at home to DAL is unlikely. But I gotta hope that’s exactly what happens.