All That Jazz Puts Heat on Lakers

HANG TIME, Texas — As Dean Wormer might have once said to Flounder in “Animal House”: “Losing nine out of 11 games is no way to make the playoffs, son.”

But here are the Jazz, back up and dancing like Otis Day & The Knights are playing at a toga party, suddenly the owners of a three-game winning streak and… wait for it… a road win.

When Utah won at Portland for its first victory on the road since Feb. 13, it jumped the Jazz over the Lakers and back into the last playoff spot in the Western Conference.

According to Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Tribune, the chatter was back in the Jazz locker room after they rallied from nine, 14 and nine down again in the fourth quarter on Friday night.

“Winning does that,” Mo Williams said. “Winning puts you in a good mood, especially when you care. Top to bottom, people care here, when you lose you feel down. It’s not so jolly, it’s not so loose.”

Earlier in the evening, Williams was far from happy. The 30-year-old point guard, in his second stint with the Jazz, was benched by coach Tyrone Corbin in the second quarter. In the final minutes of the game, Williams carried the Jazz to the win, scoring 14 of his game-high 28 points in the fourth quarter and spearheading a 25-6 run in the final six minutes.

“You get pissed off,” Williams said. “Instead of feeling sorry for yourself, you come out and be aggressive.”

The Jazz come home to close out a back-to-back tonight against the Nets and there is light again after it had appeared for weeks that Utah was going to do everything except lift the Lakers up onto their shoulders and carry Kobe Bryant & Co. into the postseason.

Now the two teams are in the stretch run and for the first time in a while, the Jazz might have a leg up in getting to the finish.

Let’s break it down for final nine games:

Jazz

Home — 6

Road — 3

Vs. playoff teams — 5

Back-to-backs remaining: 0

Tonight — vs. Nets

Mon. — vs. Blazers

Wed. — vs. Nuggets

Apr. 7 — at Golden State

Apr. 9 — vs. Thunder

Apr. 12 — vs. Timberwolves

Apr. 15 — at Minnesota

Apr. 17 — at Memphis

The Jazz hold the tiebreaker over the Lakers and if they can take care of business at home, where they’re 26-9 on the season, will be tough for the Lakers to beat out.

Lakers

Home — 6

Road — 3

Vs. playoff teams — 5

Back-to-backs remaining — 1

Tonight — at Sacramento

Tues. — vs. Mavericks

Fri. — vs. Grizzlies

Apr. 7 — at L.A. Clippers

Apr. 9 — vs. Hornets

Apr. 10 — at Portland

Apr. 12 — vs. Warriors

Apr. 14 — vs. Spurs

Apr. 17 — vs. Rockets

Of the 14 players on the Lakers roster, seven are listed on the injury report for tonight at Sacramento, though Bryant, Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol and Antawn Jamison are probable, with Steve Nash questionable and Metta World Peace and Jordan Hill out. Of the Lakers’ three remaining road games, they won’t have to leave their own building to play the Clippers and that next-to-last game against San Antonio could catch them another break if the mercurial Gregg Popovich decides to rest up his veterans for the playoffs.

41 Comments

  1. Edogawa Conan says:

    Mavericks remainder
    april 2-@ lakers
    4- @denver
    5- @sacramento
    7- @portland
    10- phoenix
    12- denver
    14 – @NO
    15- memphis
    17- NO

  2. NBAfan says:

    It all depends on OKC, DEN (both playing the Jazz) and SAN, LAC (both playing the Lakers). It depends on who they want to avoid in the playoffs.

    Jazz holding the tie breaker is not good for LAL, so is their inability to win the games they should be winning..in fact, this whole season is about not winning the games they should be winning.

    I gotta hand it to the Jazz, they put themselves in this position.

  3. sports fan says:

    Looking at the remainder of the games for the Jazz, Lakers, & Mavs they all could end up 41-41 and the tiebreaker would go to the Jazz. But I’m predicting that the Jazz & Lakers will end up 42-40 and the Mavs at 40-42.

  4. ginobi says:

    I hope Lakers get the 8th seed so I can watch them get swept by the Spurs. GSG!

  5. A Break says:

    As a Lakers fan, I’d rather go 4 Jazz or Mavs to get the 8th. They need to blow the line up (even the coaching staff) apart. A combination of aging players, weak bench and poor coaching spells disaster for this team. Start by building around D12 if he chooses to stay. To Kupchack: I hope this serves as a lesson that this is not NBA 2k13, that you build a team based on star power, don’t forget the bench and coaching staff, please….

  6. googergieger says:

    Kings got straight up screwed tonight. You have to call that foul. Especially when you call a phantom foul on Salmons on the other end. Wow that was terrible. Kings screwed again against The Lakers? The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    • dan'o says:

      they stopped calling that ‘jump into the defender’ foul a couple years ago. d12 was a statue on that play

  7. El Tigre says:

    The Lakers can go 6-3 in their remaining games looking at their sked and the Jazz could go 3-6. Their records would be like this. Lakers: 43-39 and the Jazz: 40-42

  8. lakers will make the playoffs because most of these games will come down to the wire and kobe bryant is one of the best at closing games his shots drop 9 out of 10 times and he plays harder defense kobe will bring the lakers to the playoffs they will suprise everyone

  9. Mike says:

    Good luck to the Lakers but they have little chance to make it to the playoff

  10. Julius Alvarez says:

    the jazz will make the playoffs!!! mainly because they hold the tie breaker between the lakers and the mavs.

  11. MFFL says:

    No love for the Mavs?

  12. MavsFanBigD says:

    You dont count Dallas? You should, they play really good now that Dirk is looking like Dirk again.
    As a Mavs-Fan I had already given up all hopes, but watching these three teams now, the Mavs look far better than the Lakers and the Jazz.

  13. SpursFan says:

    as a spurs fan, utah is way more scary than the lakers…a matchup with the lakers would be cake

  14. Number1HoustonRocketsFan says:

    THE LAKERS ARE GOING TO MAKE THE PLAYOFFS CUZ THE JAZZ ONLY HAVE 2 GUARANTEE WINS WHICH ARE WOLVES, MAYBE EVEN THE BLAZERS IF THERE LUCKY. THE LAKERS HOW EVER HAVE 4 GUARANTEE WINS WHICH ARE KINGS, HORNETS, BLAZERS, AND MAYBE MAYBE ROCKETS.

  15. Juan says:

    No mention of the Mavs? That’s kind of rude.

  16. Jason says:

    Fran have you even been watching the NBA the past 2 weeks? Not a single mention of the Dallas Mavericks who have just as good of a shot at making the 8th spot as both Utah and LA? What a joke of an article.

  17. theholyspectator says:

    people gettin excited for these teams that will end up exiting the first round? none of these teams will beat the spurs so why does it even matter? but of the 3 its gonna prolly be mavs or jazz..i believe jazz have won 3 straight, got the most momentum and a fairly easy schedule compared to la, not sure about mavs..but lets see

  18. Keep an eye on the Mavs. They’re heating up and Dirk’s returning to his best.

  19. Lakernation says:

    lakers are gonna win and they are going to beat parkerless spurs

    • ethienne says:

      even without parker they can’t bet the spurs, it’s not about parker it’s the lakers defence that has a problem…

  20. Michael B says:

    Why no mention of Dallas? Theyre now one game behind LA and the Jazz, and very much in this race.

  21. Lakers lose tonight says:

    Sacramento only has 150 tickets left for tonight’s game, and the king have been playing with confidence. This is the type of slow team that make Isaiah Thomas salivate and the Kings have front court depth to bang hard on the frail bodied old men Lakers. It’s hard to imagine the short handed Lakers not chalking up a loss tonight.
    And things aren’t going to get easier the Mavs will be looking for revenge, the Grizz, the CLips. I don’t see the Lakers winning more than one of their next four.

  22. MFFL2013 says:

    Dirk be playin like it’s 2010! Watch out LA!

  23. Laquisha says:

    This article is forggeting to mention the DALLAS MAVERICKS they ve got almost all remaining games at home and they are one game off the 8 seed so my man you should edit this thing as the mavs are the biggest contenders for that eight seed

  24. mario says:

    i dont think L.A will able to make it to the playoffs. :P

    • ethienne says:

      the deciding games would the the lakers vs. mavs whoever lost, i dont think will have a chance to be in the 8 spot..

  25. AC3 says:

    Just watch the Mavs. They wil stun you Jazz and Laker fans and make the 8 seed befroe you even knew they one a game.

  26. Christoph says:

    The Mavs will win the 8th spot.

  27. Vick says:

    It will be for the lakers good to miss the playoffs. i mean most of there key players are injured, and going into the playoffs with a injured roster facing the spurs?!?! i smell a sweep! EASY

    • ethienne says:

      it’s better for the lakers not to be in the playoff spot than to be sweep y the spurs…such a shame even if kobe so fired up for playoffs

  28. Sinnie says:

    Wow, where are the Mavs, they are the team on fire now? I’ll laugh so huge if the Mavs get the last spot :D

  29. Henrik Jensen says:

    I can only see one thing they should do, i am sorry Nash, but you have to go, since Kobe is stealing all of the picture so you don’t get to play the awesome ball we know you can do.. maybe Pau should go also, i am not at all a Lakers fan, but if they should improve they could try to trade Nash for some young talent, while trading Pau for a true Small Forward, because neither: World Peace nor Jamison can play the 3rd position that great, but if they battled for 4rd spot, thats fine, since howard still would be a beast inside, so maybe go look at the nuggets: Corey Brewer or Wilson Chandler, or go to Bulls and ask the price for Luol Deng, or Raptors for Rudy Gay/DeMar DeRozan…

    i Could see Nash retire in Canada, with a trade that sends Pau Gasol and Steve Nash to The Raptors for DeMar DeRozan and some other young talents.

    • JFC#6 says:

      You are sooooo wrong with the Derozan trade. There is no way in hell the raptors trade derozan for two aging role players/sixth men at best.I would like to see them trade for Wilson Chandler. Not because I like the lakers, but because I would like to see Chandler show his full potential as a starter

  30. Kimmy says:

    Lakers will make 8th seed. But only to be humiliated by the San Antonio Spurs in the first round. What’s the point? They need to fire the coach, hire Kobe, trade Gasol, Howard and Gasol, and start fresh for next season with mix of rookies and vets to rebuild. This has been the most painful Lakers to watch, and I’ve been watching NBA since 1970’s. Go OKC!

  31. Comitesha says:

    With all due respect, i believe that Utah has bigger chance to take that spot. They have easier schedule and that tiebreaker could also be decisive.
    However, if Lakers somehow win the next two games (tonight and against Dallas), that would place them in front…
    Go LA!!!

  32. W/E says:

    Lakers FAILED big time, if they dont even make the playoffs Jim Buss and the starting 5 of the roster should just retire. They humilated their own selves in this outrageous season.

  33. bodjee says:

    I think we should just ask the referees who between is going to make it to the 8 spot in the west.