SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz did their part just barely, but the Los Angeles Clippers didn't cooperate.
Needing a victory over the San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night in the regular-season finale to keep hope alive of getting homecourt advantage in the first round of the NBA playoffs, the Jazz built a lead and then its bench hung on down the stretch to get the win, 101-97.
Utah also needed the Clippers to lose to the shorthanded Sacramento Kings, but Los Angeles won handily, 115-95, meaning the first two games of the Jazz-Clippers series will be in California.
Game 1 is set for Saturday night at 8:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN and ROOT Sports.
• The Jazz made two more 3-pointers and two more free throws on the night.
• Utah finished with 24 assists compared to 16 for San Antonio.
• The Jazz had 44 points in the paint. The Spurs had 34.
Records: Utah (51-31); San Antonio (61-21)
Utah: Gordon Hayward had a team-high 14 points. Three others had 13.
San Antonio: LaMarcus Aldridge scored 18 points.
Utah: Will face the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round. Game 1 is Saturday, April 15 at 8:30 p.m. Location TBD
San Antonio: vs. Memphis, Saturday, April 15, 6 p.m.
SALT LAKE CITY — The Utah Jazz aren't getting any favors as they try to leapfrog the Los Angeles Clippers for the fourth spot in terms of matchups tonight.
For one thing, the Spurs, who've lost three straight, plan to play all of their key players — Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge, Tony Parker, Pau Gasol and Manu Ginobili — against the Jazz.
"They've got to play minutes. Nobody's going to play until Saturday or Sunday," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "I think Quin's doing the same thing. We're going to go ahead and play. Probably fourth quarter or some time stand down, but everybody should get 25, 30, 35 minutes just to have a good workout before the weekend."
Jazz coach Quin Snyder is happy to have almost a full complement of players available for him tonight. This will only be the 14th time all season that George Hill, Rodney Hood, Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and Rudy Gobert play in the same game. Utah is 11-2 when they do play together.
"I think it's more important of us at this point given that we are more healthy to play and play together and hopefully play well," Snyder said.
The Jazz have something to play for tonight. If they win and the Clippers lose, Utah will finish as the fourth seed and have home-court advantage.
L.A. hosts Sacramento, but the Jazz probably shouldn't hold their breath on getting help there. The Kings announced that the following players won't see action in their game at Staples Center: Darren Collison (migraine headache); Kosta Koufos, Ty Lawson and Garrett Temple (planned rest) and Anthony Tolliver (personal).