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While You Were Sleeping: Jazz Get Some Help

Thank the Heat, everyone.

NBA: Denver Nuggets at Miami Heat Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Rubio got some much needed rest, (thanks for nothing, Marquese Chriss and Jared Dudley) Donovan Mitchell went to watch the Utes at the NIT, and the Jazz didn’t play last night. Some other teams did, though. Here’s what happened:

The Good

Miami Heat 149 Nuggets 141

I hate to jinx things for the good guys, but the Nuggets are done. They looked like the 2012-13 Jazz in the second overtime. No discipline on defense and total hero ball bricklaying on offense.

The Bad

Golden State Warriors 75 San Antonio Spurs 89

The Warriors are getting bitten by the injury bug harder than they ever have. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant were all hurt. Draymond Green started the game, but left with a groin injury after playing just 12 minutes. The Dubs hung with the Spurs for about a half, but it turns out that Kevon Looney, Patrick McCaw, and JaVale McGee aren’t gonna win you too many games on their own.

The Standings

The Jazz are now 2.5 games up on the Nuggets and Clippers with 11 games remaining for DEN, 12 for UTA, and 13 for LAC. They own the tiebreaker with the Pelicans. They need to finish with a better record than the Timberwolves. The best they can do is tie, but the next tiebreaker, record against the division, is owned by the Timberwolves.

Here’s how the main competitors stack up schedule-wise:

The Clips and Nuggs both have a brutal schedule to end the season. I think they’re out. If the Jazz continue to play as well as they have been over the past two months, they’ll likely finish the season no worse than 8-4, which should be good enough for the playoffs.

Tonight’s game against the Hawks is one that the Jazz have to win. The last matchup sapped the last bit of hope I had for the season. But this team proved me wrong, and things are different now.