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NBA Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, April 17th (All times Eastern)
Utah Jazz (43-38) at Memphis Grizzles (55-26), 8 p.m.
(Sports Network) - There are huge playoff ramifications in Memphis on Wednesday night when the Grizzlies host the Utah Jazz at FedExForum.
The Grizzlies are locked into the fifth seed in the Western Conference, but could get home-court advantage in a series, if the Los Angeles Clippers are the fourth seed.
The Clippers trail the Denver Nuggets, who are third, by one game. If the Clippers beat the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday, and the Nuggets lose Wednesday night at home against the Phoenix Suns, the two teams would be tied and the Clippers would be the third seed by virtue of winning the Pacific Division.
The Clippers are guaranteed at least the fourth seed and are tied with the Grizzlies. Memphis could still get the home-court advantage in a series against the Clippers despite being the lower seed if the Grizz beat Utah and L.A. falls to Sacramento.
The Grizzlies pulled out a solid 103-97 victory on Monday night in Dallas against the Mavericks. Memphis trailed by eight at the half and won the second half by 14.
"In the first half our guys didn't come out and compete," admitted Memphis coach Lionel Hollins. "They were treating it like an exhibition game. I got on them a little bit before we started the third quarter and we scored 65 points in the second half. We got up and down the court, we defended, and got the bench guys in."
Three bench players scored in double figures for the Grizzlies, who are 23-1 this season when scoring 100-plus points. Jerryd Bayless (19), Keyon Dooling (13) and Ed Davis (11 and 11 rebounds) led the charge for Memphis, which held 70 opponents under 100 points this season to match a team record.
The Jazz have a chance at the eighth playoff spot. They need to win this game, then have the Los Angeles Lakers lose at home to the Houston Rockets on Wednesday. Utah would get in because it has a 2-1 record head-to-head with the Lakers.
"It comes down to one game now," Al Jefferson said. "It's a big game. The only thing we can worry about is what we can control."
Utah has won two in a row, both over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Monday's victory was in Minnesota and Jefferson was once again the hero. After going for 40 on Friday, Jefferson scored 22 to led the Jazz on Monday.
Randy Foye, Mo Williams and Derrick Favors all scored in double figures for the Jazz.
The Grizzlies have won two of three this season against the Jazz and are 5-1 in their last six against Utah in Memphis.
04/17 10:31:36 ET
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