Jazz aim to keep playoff hopes alive against Blazers

The Utah Jazz have four games left to make their case for a postseason berth starting with tonight's contest in Rip City against the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Jazz are currently on the outside, looking in at the Western Conference playoff picture, sitting in the 10th spot, one-half game behind both Phoenix and Houston at No. 8. Utah owns the tiebreaker over the Rockets but not the Suns.

After tonight's contest the Jazz will finish the regular season with a three- game homestand versus Orlando, Phoenix and Portland.

Utah kept hope alive on Monday with a thrilling 123-121 triple-overtime win over Dallas in Salt Lake City. Al Jefferson scored 28 points in that one and tied a career-high with 26 rebounds, several in key moments, as the Jazz came out on top.

"It feels good to beat a great team like Dallas, [which] never gave up and kept hitting shots after shots after shots," Jefferson said. "But we just kept playing and ground it out."

Gordon Hayward netted 24 points and Devin Harris contributed 23 for the Jazz, who snapped a two-game skid. Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll donated 16 and 15 points, respectively.

The Blazers, who will be playing their final home game of the season tonight, have lost three straight and five of six after Monday's 125-107 drubbing at the hands of Phoenix.

Jamal Crawford and J.J. Hickson led the way for the Blazers with 22 points apiece in the losing effort, while Wesley Matthews added 19 points and Luke Babbitt had 18.

Nolan Smith contributed 14 points for Portland, which has been officially eliminated from playoff contention.

The Jazz have already topped the Trail Blazers twice this season, most recently winning 102-97 at the Rose Garden on April 2.