SALT LAKE CITY — Behind a career night from Donovan Mitchell, the Utah Jazz wrapped up its regular-season home schedule with a 118-108 win over the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday night at Vivint Arena.
Combined with Portland’s 104-101 win over the Los Angeles Lakers later in the night — the Trail Blazers’ Maurice Harkless hit the winning 3 at the buzzer — the Jazz are locked in as the No. 5 playoff seed in the Western Conference.
Here are four takeaways from a night where Utah won its 50th game of the season.
- While Utah (50-31) knows it will be the No. 5 seed, its first-round opponent is still to be determined heading into Wednesday’s final night of the regular season. There are two possible first-round opponents: Houston or Portland. The Rockets finished the regular season Tuesday, losing to Oklahoma City 112-111. Portland, meanwhile, is one game back of Houston heading into the final night. Two games to watch Wednesday: Portland hosts Sacramento and Denver hosts Minnesota. If both the Trail Blazers and Nuggets win Wednesday, the Jazz will face Houston in the first round. If either Portland or Denver lose Wednesday, though, Utah would face Portland in the first round.
- Mitchell, the second-year guard, tied his career high with a 46-point night, including 27 in the first half in the win over the Nuggets. He shot 14 of 26 from the field, made five 3-pointers and hit 13 of 16 free throws, while adding seven rebounds and four assists.
- Rudy Gobert paced a strong interior game for the Jazz, finishing with 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks as Utah outrebounded the Nuggets 48-31. Denver star center Nikola Jokic fouled out for just the second time this season, finishing with 2 points, five rebounds and two assists while shooting 1 of 6 from the field. He played 16 minutes and fouled out with 8:12 to play.
- Denver trailed by as many as 12 points in the first half before keeping it close heading into the fourth. Utah put the win away, though, with a 21-6 run in the final period.
- Wednesday, April 10 at Los Angeles Clippers (47-34), 8:30 p.m. MDT
- TBD: The NBA playoff schedule will be released Wednesday night following the conclusion of the regular season.