Next up: San Antonio, where the Jazz haven't won since 1999 — 17 straight regular-season games, 20, including playoff games.

"We're well-aware of that," Jazz forward Carlos Boozer said after Utah won its second-to-last game of the season, beating Houston on Monday night in its home finale. "We've been around for a few of those.

"But we'll be ready for them," Boozer added. "We almost had them earlier in the year, and we did a good job of playing against them here at home."

Much of the Jazz's playoff fate - including seed, and possible homecourt advantage for the first round - depends on beating the Spurs Wednesday night in.

"It's doable," forward Andrei Kirilenko said. "Again, we need to be concentrated. Don't be intimidated by their attack.

"Every night is different," Kirilenko added. "Nobody knows what is going to happen."

If the Jazz do win Wednesday, though, it will be a big win for their psyche.

"It will be huge," Boozer said, "especially if we meet with them in the playoffs."

ALMOND BACK: Rookie Morris Almond re-joined the Jazz after finishing the season with the NBA Development League's Utah Flash.

"I don't really feel going down I was, like, 'a project,'" Almond said, "and I needed to revamp my whole game to get adjusted to this (NBA) level."

But playing in the D-League was beneficial, he suggested.

"Of course you work on little things and I can be hear all day talking about (that), but (playing) is the main thing," Almond said. "If you're gonna be on the (Jazz's) inactive list game after game, just let me play somewhere. So, I'm grateful for that opportunity."

HE SAID IT: Jazz coach Jerry Sloan, asked if not getting picked for this season's NBA All-Star Game is what's been motivating Deron Williams: He's a young player, and he'll get his opportunities, is the way I see. Just keep playing, and it always works out. But if that's what motivates you, then I hope he gets snubbed every year."

MISC: Williams said he was "still sore," from the bruised butt he sustained in Saturday's win over Denver, but he finished with 17 points and nine assists ... Houston was without injured would-be starting point Rafer Alston, plus injured and out-for-the season Yao Ming ... Utah closed 27-1 in the last 28 home games.

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