Jazz keep playoff hopes alive

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 15, 2013
Al Jefferson had 22 points and eight rebounds to help Utah keep its playoff hopes alive with a 96-80 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night. Mo Williams had 15 points and seven assists for the Jazz, who needed a win to avoid being eliminated in the Western Conference playoff race. The Jazz need to win at Memphis on Wednesday and for the Los Angeles Lakers to lose at home against Houston that night to get into the playoffs. They own the tiebreaker after beating the Lakers two out of three times this season. Derrick Williams had 18 points and six rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were missing center Nikola Pekovic with a bruised left calf. The Jazz entered the night clinging to the postseason picture, down 1 1/2 games to the Lakers with two to play. For a team that could have as many as nine expiring contracts this summer, the Jazz are desperately chasing one more playoff appearance. Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Mo Williams and Randy Foye all could be looking for new teams when the season ends, with a bevy of young players waiting to assume larger roles next year. They've won nine of their last 11 games since a four-game losing streak in the middle of last month threatened to bury them. Utah didn't play all that well early, but it was just good enough to stay on top of a Timberwolves team that is slogging to the finish of another long season. The Wolves shot just 33 percent in the first quarter, and without Pekovic patrolling the paint they didn't grab an offensive rebound until late in the third quarter. A 13-4 run by Minnesota cut Utah's lead to three points late in the third quarter, but once again the Wolves had no answer for Jefferson. The former Wolf scored 40 against the Wolves in a 107-100 win on Friday night in Salt Lake City and continued to attack the team's soft middle on Monday night. He scored six straight points after Minnesota's run to give the Jazz some breathing room again, and they never looked back. The Timberwolves have one game left in what has been a miserable, injury-plagued season. They will enter this offseason as they have every one since 2004 -- with a spot in the lottery coming in June and plenty of questions about the roster and who will be back to lead it. Owner Glen Taylor has been mum on president David Kahn's future. Kahn has a team option on his contract for next season. Coach Rick Adelman has two years left on his deal, but has considered stepping down to help his wife Mary Kay, who is being treated for seizures. Her condition caused him to miss 11 games earlier this season. She is due to meet with doctors again shortly after the season ends, and Adelman is hoping her condition will continue to stabilize. Before the game, Adelman said he was going forward with the idea that he would be back next season and hoped to have a definitive answer in the next couple of weeks. ''I think what happens with Mary Kay or any of that, that certainly would turn things in a different direction,'' Adelman said. ''Right now I don't see that (happening), but I'm going to wait and see until we talk to the doctors and see what direction they've decided we need to go at this point. Then we'll move from there.'' NOTES: Wolves PG Ricky Rubio had a quiet night with six points on 2-for-9 shooting and four assists ... The Wolves finish the season with a game at San Antonio on Wednesday ... It was just the 13th win on the road for the Jazz this season. They've won three straight away from home.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Bill Murray goes nuts celebrating Xavier’s upset

Pat Kelsey ditches UMass right before first press conference

Report: Top GM candidates not interested in Redskins job due to Daniel Snyder

Carmelo Anthony: Knicks were more free-flowing before triangle emphasis

Report: Deal in works for Raiders to play at Sam Boyd Stadium in Vegas

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Yoenis Cespedes: MLB would grow if they played with Latin culture

Georgetown fires John Thompson III after 13 seasons

GGG, Canelo Alvarez reportedly resume fight talks

Shaq comes clean on flat earth talk: ‘I’m joking, you idiots’

NFL to discuss possibility of reviewing penalties

Report: Paul George wants to play with Gordon Hayward

Box Score 3/24: Waiting on West Virginia

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

With Team USA's victory, World Baseball Classic (finally) lived up to its potential

The NFL distraction playbook

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Box Score 3/23: Team USA wins their first WBC title

The 'Duke schadenfreude season came early this year' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Eat, Drink, Watch: Weekends are for upsets

The 'Once again, Barry Bonds is the best power hitter in San Francisco' quiz

The NFL distraction playbook

With Team USA's victory the WBC (finally) lived up to its potential

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

Eastern Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker