This is an updated look at the NBA playoff picture and how it relates to the Utah Jazz.
What happened Tuesday
Tuesday was a great night for the Jazz's seeding. Most importantly, Utah defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 117-110 at Vivint Arena, improving the Jazz’s record to 45-33. The Golden State Warriors defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-107, the Dallas Mavericks beat the Portland Trail Blazers 115-109 and the Los Angeles Clippers defeated the San Antonio Spurs 113-110. The Denver Nuggets beat the Indiana Pacers 107-104, which was the only result that didn’t benefit the Jazz.
How this affects the Jazz
The games on Tuesday moved the Jazz (45-33) into the fourth seed in the Western Conference, as they own the tiebreaker over the Spurs (45-33).
Utah is now three games behind the third-place Portland Trail Blazers (48-30), who play at Houston, at San Antonio and at Denver before hosting the Jazz on the last day of the regular season. Blazers star Damian Lillard suffered an ankle injury in Portland’s loss to Dallas.
FiveThirtyEight gives the Jazz a 98 percent chance to make the playoffs, and projects their final record at 47-35. FiveThirtyEight also projects the Spurs and Thunder with the same record, which would make the Thunder the four seed, the Jazz the five seed and the Spurs the sixth seed. If more than two teams finish tied, the first tiebreaker is better winning percentage in games against each other. Oklahoma City is 5-3 against the Jazz and Spurs, while Utah is 4-4 against the Spurs and Thunder and San Antonio is 3-5 against the Jazz and Thunder (45-34).
Remaining Jazz games
April 5 vs. L.A. Clippers, 7 p.m.
April 8 at L.A. Lakers, 4 p.m.
April 10 vs. Golden State, 7 p.m.
April 11 at Portland, 8:30 p.m.