If they need any added incentive as they look to close out the Nuggets with Wednesday's Game 5 in Denver, the Jazz need only to know that they would be assured of at least three days and as many as five days of rest by doing so.
"It's definitely in our minds because everybody needs the rest," Deron Williams said. "We've got some guys that are banged up as every team does in the playoffs. It'd be good if we could close this thing out and get some rest."
With a 3-1 lead in their series, the Jazz would face the winner of the L.A. Lakers/Oklahoma City series in the conference semifinals should they advance. That series is tied 2-2 with Game 5 set for tonight.
The earliest the conference semifinals could open is Sunday with the Thunder and Lakers set to play Game 6 on Friday in Oklahoma City. Should their series go to a seventh game, Game 1 of the conference semifinals would be Tuesday.
The Jazz closed out Houston and Golden State on their first try in the 2007 playoffs, but were routed 95-69 when they took a 3-1 lead to Houston in the 2008 first round. Although they won Game 6, the Jazz had just a 48-hour turnaround before opening the next round.
If they can't leave Denver with a Game 5 victory, the Jazz would return to EnergySolutions Arena for Game 6 on Friday. That game would begin at either 8 p.m. or 8:30 p.m.
"It definitely wears on you," Williams said. "Playoffs take a lot out of you. It's a lot more physical than the regular season. They let a lot more go. I think it's important for us to close this thing out as soon as possible and get the rest."
Jazz coach Jerry Sloan referenced the 1994 conference semifinals against Denver in describing the outcome of this series as anything but a "foregone conclusion." The Jazz took a 3-0 series lead in 1994, then dropped the next three games before winning Game 7.
Never mind Carmelo Anthony 's 39-point effort in Sunday's loss, Nuggets acting coach Adrian Dantley singled out his star's nine turnovers in surprisingly critical tones afterward.
"He has to do a better job when he gets his touches," Dantley said. "You know, nine turnovers, that's a lot of turnovers.
"We know when you play against Utah, they're going to flop, they're going to take charges. He's got to be aware of that and put up a better game. You can't turn the ball over."
Anthony is averaging 34.5 points in this series, having scored 42, 32, 25 and 39 points and carried his team the last four games.
"We need him at times to score," Dantley said. "That don't have anything to do with him getting touches, getting nine turnovers. He's just got to read the defense a lot better."
Anthony voiced his frustration to Chris Andersen on the bench in the second quarter after Andersen launched an ill-advised 20-footer that Anthony described as the wrong shot at the wrong time with Denver soon to fall behind by double digits.
"I'm trying to do everything I can in my power to beat the Jazz," Anthony said, "but at the end of day, I need some help. I'm not sitting here pointing fingers or nothing, but as a unit we've got to do this together. I can't do it by myself."
With 24 points and 13 assists in Game 4, Williams joined Oscar Robertson (1965), Kevin Johnson (1989) and Magic Johnson (1990) as the only players to total 20 points and 10 assists in each of the first four games of a playoff series. ... Andrei Kirilenko was planning to do some slides and jumping as he got back on the court Monday for the first time since re-injuring his strained left calf April 15. ... The Jazz are now averaging 112.3 points on 51.8 percent shooting in the series.