Jazz continue playoff quest against Oklahoma City
The Jazz haven't qualified for the playoffs, but they can see them from here.
Utah faces Oklahoma City on Tuesday night at EnergySolutions with a half-game lead over the Los Angeles Lakers in the race for the eighth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference.
The Jazz are 41-37. The Lakers are 40-37.
Utah's magic number for clinching a spot in the playoffs is four. Any combination of Jazz wins and Lakers losses totaling eight means Utah qualifies.
"We still have a lot of work to do," coach Tyrone Corbin said before Monday's practice. "We're in a good position now. We don't have to back into a spot. ... But we have four games left and they're all going to be tough games. We have to keep our foot on the pedal and understand what we have to do."
Oklahoma City has its own battle to fight.
With a 56-21 record, the Thunder are one game behind San Antonio in the race for the best record in the West. The winner will enjoy home-court advantage throughout the conference playoffs.
"Great team," Corbin said. "... They are going to come in here with their guns loaded so we have to be ready and understand what we have to do against them to give us a chance."
Williams on way back
Point guard Mo Williams finished with 25 points, four rebounds and five assists in the win over the Warriors.
His late three-pointer gave Utah a 96-90 lead and iced the victory.
Williams, of course, missed 32 games during the middle of the season with a torn thumb ligament that required surgery.
"He's been getting his rhythm back," Corbin said. "When he's not scoring, he's giving us the pace we need to get opportunities. We can also put the ball in his hands in short clock situations."
Jazz center Enes Kanter was in New York on Monday, consulting with doctors about his dislocated right shoulder.
Kanter was injured March 27 against Phoenix. He has missed the last six games and, although the Jazz have not announced an official timetable for his recovery, he is not expected to return this season.
In his second season, Kanter averages 7.2 points and 4.3 rebounds as the fourth member of coach Tyrone Corbin's center-power forward rotation, which also includes Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap and Derrick Favors.
Jazz lock up at least .500
The Jazz's victory at Golden State was their 41st of the season, meaning they are guaranteed to finish with at least a .500 record for the 28th time in the last 30 years.
Since 1983-84, Utah has ended up under .500 only two times: 26-56 in 2004-05 and 39-43 in 2010-11.
Jazz vs. Oklahoma City
P Tuesday at EnergySolutions Arena
Tipoff • 7 p.m.
TV • ROOT Sports
Radio • 1280 AM, 1600 AM, 97.5 FM
Records • Jazz 41-37, Oklahoma City, 56-21
Season series • Oklahoma City, 2-1
Last meeting • Oklahoma City, 110-87 (March 13)
About the Jazz • They have won seven of their last eight games. ... Since March 1, they are 8-2 at home. ... All five Jazz starters average in double figures, including C Al Jefferson (17.5), F Paul Millsap (14.9), F Gordon Hayward (14.4), G Mo Williams (12.7) and G Randy Foye (10.7).
About the Thunder • They are 6-2 in their last eight games. ... Since March 1, they are 7-4 on the road. ... They come off a 125-120 home loss to New York. ... They are led by F Kevin Durant (28.4) and G Russell Westbrook (23.8). ... They average 106 points a game on 48.3 percent shooting.
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