The Jazz-Golden State NBA playoff series schedule was finalized Sunday night, and the rest of the Western Conference picture was, too - but not until the very last game of the season ended in overtime.
The Jazz and Warriors will play Games 1 and 2 of the best-of-five series Thursday and Saturday (7:30 p.m.) in the Salt Palace. Games 3 and 4, if necessary, will be the following Tuesday and Thursday (8:30 p.m. MDT) in the Oakland Coliseum Arena. Game 5 would be Saturday in the Salt Palace; the time is unscheduled.The Jazz-Warriors winner will play the Phoenix-Denver winner in the second round. After Houston lost to Miami Saturday, Denver had a chance to knock the Rockets out of fifth place, but the Nuggets lost at home to Dallas and stayed sixth. Dallas lost the No. 8 playoff spot only when Portland overcame Sacramento in overtime.
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More numbers from the Jazz's 51-31 season:
- When Michael Jordan went 9 of 19 against Cleveland Sunday, John Stockton moved back into the top 10 in field-goal shooting (.538). That allowed Stockton, who won the assists (13.6) and steals (3.2) titles, to finish in the top 10 of those three categories for the second-straight year.
- Karl Malone finished fifth (10.7) and Mark Eaton seventh (10.3) in rebounding, making the Jazz the first team to have two top 10 rebounders since Boston with Robert Parish and Larry Bird in 1985-86. Malone also was second in scoring (29.1) and Eaton was second in blocked shots (3.8). Malone and Thurl Bailey were edged out by Golden State's Chris Mullin and Mitch Richmond as the league's top 1-2 scorers.
- The Jazz's .434 field-goal defense was the lowest in the league in 15 years and their 99.7 points-allowed average the lowest in six years.
- Eric Leckner set a Jazz rookie record with .545 field-goal shooting, although he fell short of the minimum numbers for NBA leaders. Jim Les (.301) avoided being only the second NBA player in 25 years to shoot less than .300 from the field and Jose Ortiz played the fewest games (51) and minutes (327) of any full-season Jazz player since J.J. Anderson and Tom Boswell in 1983-84.