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Jazz loss sends Lakers to NBA playoffs
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On April 17, 2013 @ 11:00 pm In Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports
After a season in which the Los Angeles Lakers were snake-bitten throughout and lost the Black Mamba at the end, they finally got lucky at the perfect time.
The Memphis Grizzlies’ 86-70 win over Utah Jazz at the FedEx Forum on Wednesday night knocked the Jazz out of the playoffs on the final night of the regular season and ensured that the Lakers are in. A Lakers’ win over the Houston Rockets at the Staples Center on Wednesday night would give them the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference and a first-round series against the ailing San Antonio Spurs, while a loss would mean they have to face the Oklahoma City Thunder. Either way, it’s quite a consolation prize for a team that spent the past three weeks in playoff mode because of the endless twists and turns to its underachieving season.
The season-ending injury to Kobe Bryant, aka the Black Mamba, was seen by some as the proverbial nail in the Lakers’ coffin. But they finished the Wednesday win over Golden State without him to keep their postseason hopes alive, then downed San Antonio without him on Friday. Entering tonight’s game, the Lakers (44-37) have won seven of their last eight games and are 27-12 since Jan. 23.
In the Grizzlies’ win, Mike Conley finished with 14 points for Memphis, which won its second straight and fifth in the past six. Darrell Arthur finished with 11 points for Memphis.
Al Jefferson scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead Utah, the only Jazz player in double figures.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.… [For more on Utah Jazz loss sends Los Angeles Lakers to NBA playoffs, click here.]
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