Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson led the Utah Jazz to a 100-88 win over the Phoenix Suns, securing a playoff berth.
SALT LAKE CITY — In a do-or-die showdown, Utah big men Paul Millsap, Al Jefferson and Derrick Favors combined for 27 points and 16 rebounds as the Jazz grabbed a 49-42 halftime lead over the Phoenix Suns in the two teams' virtual NBA playoff elimination game Tuesday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
Millsap had 11 points and six rebounds in the first half, while Jefferson added eight points and six boards and Favors contributed eight points, four rebounds and five blocked shots to help the Jazz grab a seven-point halftime lead despite shooting just 40.8 percent from the field.
Shannon Brown scored 10 points and Michael Redd added eight for Phoenix (33-31), which came into Tuesday's contest trailing the Jazz by one game in the playoff chase.
A win by Utah (34-30) would clinch a Western Conference playoff spot for the Jazz, who could still reach the postseason despite a loss to Phoenix provided the Suns lose their regular-season finale to San Antonio and the Jazz defeat Portland in their own finale Thursday night.
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