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Playoff race: Breaking down and predicting the remaining Jazz and Lakers games

Published: Monday, April 8 2013 1:47 p.m. MDT

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Utah at Memphis

This game will very much hinge on the Grizzlies' playoff position at this point. With important games still remaining against the Clippers and Rockets, it's impossible to tell whether Memphis will be a) going all-out for better playoff seeding or b) secure in its spot and resting key players.

Then again, with the game on ESPN, Memphis may play its starters semi-significant minutes anyway.

Probable outcome: Memphis wins

Houston at Los Angeles

Expect the Rockets to approach their season finale much like the Grizzlies approach theirs: based on the standings. If there's still something at stake, Jeremy Lin and James Harden will likely play heavy minutes (which has led to two out of three wins over the Lakers).

If there's nothing to gain, Houston may very well give Harden and Lin some much-needed rest before the playoffs.

This game is much more of a toss-up, so Jazz fans may want to assume the worst.

Probable outcome: Los Angeles wins

Probable standings result: Los Angeles and Utah fall into a tie for eighth place, and the Jazz are awarded a playoff spot by virtue of head-to-head tiebreaker.
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Striker
Omaha, NE

ESPN said Utah only needs to wins, and LA needs 4. The road looks much better for Utah.

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