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News » Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2009-04-08

Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2009-04-08

Utah Jazz Getting Inside 2009-04-08
The Jazz will play their biggest game of the season Wednesday at Dallas as they try to hold off the Mavericks and stay out of the Western Conference's No. 8 playoff spot and a first-round series against the top-seeded Lakers.

Not only do they hold a one-game lead over Dallas, but the Jazz also own the tiebreaker edge regardless of the outcome Wednesday. They have beaten the Mavericks twice in Utah -- ensuring no worse than a season-series split -- and have a better conference record.

The Jazz are 32-15 in the conference, compared to 25-22 for the Mavericks. But the Jazz are only 2-12 all-time at American Airlines Center and will be catching Dallas after one of its biggest victories of the season.

The Mavericks drubbed Phoenix 140-116 Sunday, with an 81-point first half and Jason Kidd finishing one point shy of a 20-20 game. The Jazz, however, responded to that victory by beating New Orleans to stay a game up in the standings.

It was one of the most inspired (and improbable) victories of the Jazz's season. They hit New Orleans with a 41-point first quarter and built a 30-point lead in the second quarter to snap a three-game losing streak.

"We knew we had to get one on the road," Deron Williams said, "and this is a great way to start this road trip. Hopefully, it'll give us confidence and realize if we play like that every night, we can beat anybody."

Williams tried to frame it otherwise, but the Jazz and Mavericks will be playing in large part to avoid meeting the Lakers in the first round.

"I'm not scared to play anybody, but there's certain matchups, certain teams you want to stay away from in the first round," Williams said. "They're definitely one of them."

JAZZ 108, HORNETS 94: The Jazz clinched a playoff berth with one of their best performances of the season. They swept the three-game season series from New Orleans and now trail the sixth-place Hornets by a half-game in the standings. It also was the Jazz's first victory all season on the road against a Western Conference contender. They hit 19 of 25 shots (76 percent) with 12 assists and led 41-19 after the first quarter. It was their highest-scoring first quarter of the season.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: April 8, 2009


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