National Basketball Association
Utah at Memphis
When: 8:00 PM ET, Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Where: FedExForum, Memphis, Tennessee
The Utah Jazz are in a must-win situation and need help from the Houston Rockets to land the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Utah is one game behind the Los Angeles Lakers entering Wednesday’s regular-season finale against the Memphis Grizzlies. If the Jazz win and Lakers lose, Utah heads to the playoffs due to holding the tiebreaker edge over Los Angeles. Memphis is still in the mix for home court in the opening round of the playoffs.
The Grizzlies will be 30 games over .500 for the first time in franchise history if they knock off the Jazz for the third time in four meetings this season. Memphis needs to win and have the Clippers lose to the Sacramento Kings to gain home-court advantage for a first-round playoff series against Los Angeles. Utah has won nine of its last 11 games overall and three straight road games to raise its away mark to 13-27.TV:
8 p.m. ET, ESPN, ROOT (Utah)
ABOUT THE JAZZ (43-38):
Center Al Jefferson averaged 31 points and 10.5 rebounds in back-to-back victories over the Minnesota Timberwolves as he tries to carry Utah into the playoffs. Jefferson has four double-doubles in seven April outings while shooting 59.1 percent from the field and averaging 21.4 points and 9.7 rebounds. He will be looking for another big outing against Memphis. “It comes down to one game now,” Jefferson said. “It’s a big game. The only thing we can worry about is what we can control, going out there and trying to take care of the game, and trying to win, and just leave the rest up to the Lakers, I guess.”ABOUT THE GRIZZLIES (55-26):
Memphis received 64 points from its bench in Monday’s 103-97 victory over the Dallas Mavericks and it will not be a surprise if the reserves again see a lot of playing time. Guard Jerryd Bayless scored 19 points while guard Keyon Dooling (13 points, 4-of-5 from 3-point range) and power forward Ed Davis (11 points, 11 rebounds) also had strong outings. Forward Tayshaun Prince was the only starter to reach double digits with 12 points, and coach Lionel Hollins was highly disappointed with the approach of the starting unit. “I thought in the first half, our guys didn’t come out and compete,” Hollins said. “They were treating it like an exhibition game.”BUZZER BEATERS
1. Utah is 1-4 in its last five visits to Memphis.
2. Grizzlies F Zach Randolph is averaging 20 points and 14.3 rebounds against the Jazz this season.
3. Jazz G Randy Foye has 26 3-pointers over the past eight games.PREDICTION:
Jazz 97, Grizzlies 95
Stats and Records