SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The Utah Jazz were in this position last year and pulled it off. The built-for-championship Lakers never expected to be anywhere close.
With three weeks remaining, the battle for the eighth and final Western Conference playoff berth is on.
The Jazz play at Portland on Friday, while the Lakers on Thursday were at Milwaukee, a team they defeated by 16 points in January.
After that, the Lakers and Jazz each play five teams with winning records. Both have six at home. The Jazz, however, own the tiebreaker, having won the season series 2-1.

Top NBA Public Bets

#1 509 Boston Celtics  84%
#2 512 Atlanta Hawks  64%
#3 508 Utah Jazz  55%

NBA Top Stories

Thumbnail Spurs vs. Grizzlies Game 6 Pick Will the San Antonio Spurs go on the road and finish off the Memphis Grizzlies when the two meet in Game 6...
Thumbnail Raptors vs. Bucks Game 6 Pick Can the Toronto Raptors close out the Milwaukee Bucks when the two meet in Game 6 of their NBA Playoffs series today at 7PM...
Thumbnail Bulls vs. Celtics Game 5 Pick Will the Boston Celtics stay hot when their NBA Playoff series with the Chicago Bulls returns home tonight for Game 5 at 8:30PM...
Thumbnail Hawks vs. Wizards Game 5 Pick Who has the edge when the Washington Wizards host the Atlanta Hawks meet up tonight at 6PM ET in Game 5 of...
Thumbnail Jazz vs. Clippers Game 5 Pick Will the Los Angeles Clippers be able to regroup at home when they host the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of their...

NBA Team Pages