This is an updated look at the NBA playoff picture and how it relates to the Utah Jazz.
What happened Thursday
Three games impacted the Western Conference playoff race Thursday, including the Jazz easily defeating the Los Angeles Clippers 117-95. Utah never trailed in beating the Clippers behind Donovan Mitchell's 19 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Houston (64-15), which has wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the West, escaped a scare from Portland, after the Trail Blazers used a 17-0 run with under four minutes remaining to tie the game at 94-94 with 6.1 seconds to play. Chris Paul hit a driving layup with 0.8 seconds left to lift the Rockets to a 96-94 win.
In the nightcap, Denver rallied to earn a tight 100-96 victory over Minnesota. The Nuggets, who were led by Nikola Jokic's 16 points and 14 rebounds, made enough plays down the stretch to grab the win at home.
In other action involving Western Conference playoff teams, Golden State (57-22), which will be the No. 2 seed in the West, fell to Indiana 126-106.
How this affects the Jazz
With the win, Utah moves a full game ahead of San Antonio and Oklahoma City at 46-33. Both the Spurs and Thunder were idle Thursday and sit in the fifth and sixth spots in the West, respectively, with identical 45-34 records.
The Clippers (42-37), meanwhile, fell 2.5 games back of the eighth spot in the Western Conference.
The Trail Blazers now sit two games ahead of the Jazz at 48-31 with three games to play for each team. It keeps open the possibility that Utah could catch Portland for the No. 3 spot. They will play in Portland in both teams' regular-season finale.
With the win, Denver moved into a tie with Minnesota in the standings at 44-35. The Timberwolves currently own the tiebreaker and the No. 8 seed, having a 2-1 record vs. the Nuggets this year, though both teams will play again in the regular-season finale in Minnesota.
New Orleans (44-34), which didn't play Thursday, moved up to the seventh spot.
FiveThirtyEight says the Jazz have a 99 percent chance of making the playoffs.
Remaining Jazz games
Sunday, April 8 at L.A. Lakers, 4 p.m. MDT
Tuesday, April 10 vs. Golden State, 7 p.m.
Wednesday, April 11 at Portland, 8:30 p.m.