Sure it was a formality at this point, and there’s still a whole lot to be determined over the Utah Jazz’s final 12 games of the regular season as far as seeding is concerned, but on Sunday they became the first team in the NBA to officially clinch a playoff berth this season.
With a record of 44-16, the Jazz have the league’s best record and are two games up on the Phoenix Suns and LA Clippers in the Western Conference. The Suns entered Sunday 1.5 games up on the Clippers but lost to the Brooklyn Nets 128-119 (the Nets lead the Eastern Conference and are 1.5 games up on the Philadelphia 76ers). The Jazz have 12 games remaining in the season.
The Houston Rockets and Minnesota Timberwolves have been eliminated from playoff contention in the West.
The Jazz have now made the playoffs five consecutive years under head coach Quin Snyder.