This is our update of the NBA playoff picture and how it relates to the Utah Jazz.
What happened Saturday
The Jazz had the day off, but there was a lot going in the tight race for seeding in the Western Conference. On Saturday afternoon, the Denver Nuggets eliminated the Los Angeles Clippers from the playoff contention with a 134-115 blowout victory in L.A.
Meanwhile, New Orleans knocked off struggling Golden State 126-120 in Oakland to get within a half game of the fourth-place Jazz. The Pelicans are in a 3-way tie for fifth with Oklahoma City and San Antonio, who each won on Saturday. The Thunder upset the Rockets in Houston, 108-102, while the Spurs held off Damian Lillard’s Portland Trail Blazers, 116-105.
How this affects the Jazz
The Pelicans, Spurs and Thunder all inched a half-game closer the Jazz. If Utah falls to the Lakers, the teamJazz would fall in to a four-way tie going into the final three days of the season.
The good news is that thanks to Portland's loss the Jazz can claim the No. 3 seed if they win their final three games. A victory today would put them just one game back of the Blazers. If the Jazz are within one game of Portland entering the final day of the season on Wednesday, they can overtake them with a victory because a win at Portland would give them the season series — and the tiebreaker.
Remaining Jazz games
Sunday at L.A. Lakers, 4 p.m. MDT
Tuesday vs. Golden State, 7 p.m.
Wednesday at Portland, 8:30 p.m.