The embattled and injured Los Angeles Lakers limped into the playoffs when the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Utah Jazz 86-70 on Wednesday in Memphis, eliminating the Jazz from playoff contention.
Memphis’s Zach Randolph had 25 points and 19 rebounds for the Grizzlies.
Utah had to win and hope for a Lakers loss to Houston to get into the Western Conference playoffs, as they entered the game one game behind Los Angeles in the battle for final playoff spot. If Utah and Los Angeles finished the season tied, Utah would have gone to the playoffs because they held the tiebreaker over Los Angeles because they beat them in the season series.
But Los Angeles clinched the playoff berth with the Jazz loss.
The Lakers are playing the Houston Rockets at the time of this writing. If the Lakers beat Houston, they will secure the seventh seed and play the San Antonio Spurs, the second seed, instead of Oklahoma City, the conference’s top seed, in the first round of the playoffs.