Final day of NBA season will decide some seeds, matchups

The Rockets won the two previous contests between the two teams, 140-116 on December 30 and 122-103 on March 1.

Unlike the Clippers, who are hoping to overcome the demons of their past playoff blunders, the Jazz enter the postseason as playoff newcomers. Hill is only averaging 4.1 assists per game himself, but his usage rate is up to 23.7 percent, almost equivalent to his best year on the Indiana Pacers, via NBA.com/Stats.

Watching the video of the game from October, Hill did a great job of leading the Jazz in that game, and that was at the peak of the Clippers' defensive performances. Derrick Favors played three of the last four games of the season for the Jazz, and he looked far more comfortable on the court and didn't show any signs that his knee was bothering him and looked like his usual dominant self. Utah ranked third in defensive rating and fifth in overall net rating during the regular season.

The Los Angeles Clippers locked up the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference playoff standings on Wednesday night with an easy 115-95 victory over the Sacramento Kings, earning home-court advantage in the first round in the process. Jordan added 17 rebounds.

"It is always nice to be home if you have to have a game seven", Clippers All-Star point guard Chris Paul told reporters.

The Clippers took the regular season series 3-1 over the Jazz.

"Honestly, as I know and you know, it still starts all over, whether you're playing well or not", Clippers coach Doc Rivers said.

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) dunks the ball as San Antonio Spurs center Dewayne Dedmon (3) looks on during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, April 12, 2017, in Salt Lake City.

Six Clippers, including all five starters, reached double figures in scoring. "So at some point, we're going to have to win a game on the road".

Mills had eight points, hitting both three-point attempts, coming off the bench.

Mason Plumlee and Malik Beasley scored 16 apiece in the first game for the Nuggets (39-42) since getting eliminated from the postseason. They were joined by Simmons, Kyle Anderson, and Davis Bertans, and that group made a little run to pull within 4.

"It's nice to finish the season strong, but all of it us to build habits for the playoffs", Paul said.

"This really could be their year", Sacramento coach Dave Joerger said. "This is like our baseline", Cauley-Stein said. Do we ever hear National Hockey League players complain about back-to-back games?

It's three teams - Indiana, Chicago and Miami - for the last two spots in the East field. That said, he is no Chris Paul, a perennial candidate for Most Valuable Player and a future Hall of Famer. The biggest issue with this matchup is the nagging knee injury that has hampered Rodney's season. Bertans had another try to tie the game late, but it rimmed out and the Spurs lost 101-97.

However, the Utah Jazz have proven all season long that they have the firepower and potential to compete with the best of the best.

Executive of the Year should sit separately from other awards in that regard, though, and did two seasons ago when Myers was the surprising victor.

The team who is able to impose their will on the other and be the more efficient team on offense will win the series. Their mark of 14-2 was the best to begin the season, too. This could lead to some shaky play if Utah's players struggle to find a rhythm while playing with key guys who have seen limited action in recent weeks.

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.