Sunday’s victory reduced Utah’s magic number for making the playoffs to two. Any combination of two Jazz wins or Houston losses will put the Jazz into the playoffs for the first time since 2012.
It could happen as early as Monday night if the Jazz can beat Dallas and if the Rockets lose at Minnesota. On Wednesday night, the Rockets get a home game against Sacramento, while the Jazz play at the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas hosts San Antonio.
The Jazz still have a chance to finish anywhere from the sixth spot to the ninth spot in the West.
THE ANSWER IS 84: Before Sunday’s game, Denver coach Mike Malone praised Utah’s defense and talked about how the Jazz had dictated the pace against a Nuggets’ team that likes to push the ball.
“I asked our team ‘How many points a game do you think we’re averaging against Utah?’ and somebody said ‘98’ and I said, ‘I wish,’” Malone said.
The correct answer was 84, which is exactly how many points the Nuggets managed against the Jazz Sunday.
JAZZ NOTES: The Jazz had won the three previous meeting with the Nuggets this year and with Sunday’s victory, swept the season series for the first time since 2002 . . . With Utah getting to 100 points on Raul Neto’s free throws in the final minute, it marked the first time in four Utah-Denver games a team had made it to the century mark . . . Utah finished with nine turnovers, just the eighth time all season they’ve had fewer than 10 in a game . . . The Jazz lead the all-time series with the Nuggets 108-75.