Pau Gasol might have expected a little help from his little brother Marc Gasol against Utah’s red hot Al Jefferson to get the Lakers into the playoffs Wednesday night. Instead, Jefferson dominated with 22 points and 16 rebounds to only four points and seven rebounds for the younger Gasol – but the Memphis Grizzlies still continued their home court dominant to get the Lakers into the playoffs. L.A. still has plenty to play for in the late game, as a win over the Rockets could move them up a spot to play the Spurs rather than the Thunder, in a series they are much more likely to win.
Zach Randolph (25 points, 19 rebounds) was even better than Jefferson, leading the Grizzlies to an 86-70 victory. Most of the Jazz roster will likely leave after this season as they begin a rebuilding process.
It would have been a huge upset for the Jazz, only 13-28 on the road, to win at Memphis, where the Grizzlies are 32-9, particularly since the Grizzlies win gives them a chance at home court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
The Los Angeles Clippers need to beat the Sacramento Kings later Wednesday to keep the Grizzlies from taking the home court advantage from them, and the Los Angeles Lakers need to beat the Houston Rockets to move from eighth place to seventh place. The Lakers would have a much better chance as the seventh place team at using their two seven footers in Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol to overpower the Spurs, then to upset the athletic Oklahoma City Thunder.
For the complete AP recap on the Utah loss, click here.