Sunday’s matchup against the Sacramento Kings was a must-win for the Utah Jazz. E’Twaun Moore of the Phoenix Suns put pressure on Utah with his game-winning shot against the San Antonio Spurs. If the Jazz had lost to the Kings, it would have secured the Suns the No. 1 seed and Utah the 2.
The Kings played the game with one of their starters, so the Jazz could have easily stenciled in a win which would seal the deal as the best record in the NBA. Many know, though, that teams are never promised a win since so much can happen during a game.
Wins are not guaranteed in the NBA, so Quin Snyder knew he could not mess up. The Jazz was able to stick with their game plan and lock the No. 1 seed right now. They routed the Sacramento Kings by a final score of 121-99 and were able to secure a home-court advantage in the playoffs with their win.
Utah Jazz fans and players were crossing their fingers that the San Antonio Spurs would triumph over the Phoenix Suns. With the Suns’ narrow win, the Jazz knew their mindset would have to be on beating Sacramento. That mindset would push Utah over the edge to victory.
This is the first time in franchise history that the Utah Jazz has had sole possession of the best record. Utah in the past has attained the No. 1 seed in the West, but not acquired the best record in the league. The Jazz finished best in the West during the 1996-97 season and the 1997-98 season as well. This is a huge accolade for Salt Lake City.
The Jazz can bask in the moment, as they should, but at the same time, they will be preparing for the Playoffs. A big part of this preparation is getting Donovan Mitchell back. Mitchell, unfortunately, missed the last 16 games of the season due to an ankle injury. Quin Snyder is crossing his fingers that his superstar will be as close to 100% healthy as possible.
Utah will face the No. 8 seed in the West in the first round of the playoffs. The Jazz’s opponent will be determined when the Play-In Tournament concludes. The Jazz will either match up against the Los Angeles Lakers or the Golden State Warriors. Early predictions sway in the favor of Golden State.