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Utah Jazz clinch #1 playoff seed, best record across league

Jazz Kings Basketball
Posted at 9:40 PM, May 16, 2021

The Utah Jazz have secured the number one seed of the Western Conference in the NBA Playoffs.

With Utah's 121-99 win Sunday night against the Sacramento Kings, the Jazz finished the season with a 52-20 win-loss record. They narrowly beat the Phoenix Suns (51-21) for the #1 seed in the West.

Not only that, but Utah's record was also better than any team in the Eastern Conference. This is the first time in Jazz franchise history that they've finished the season with sole possession of the league's best record (They tied the Chicago Bulls for the league's best record, 62-20, in the 1997-98 season).

This is also only the third time the Jazz have claimed the conference's #1 seed. The previous two were in 1996-97 and 1997-98, the prime days of the squad led by John Stockton and Karl Malone.

The team finished this season with 72.2% wins — the best percentage since 1998-99.

They will play the #8 seed in the first round of the playoffs, which start May 22.

The Jazz's opponent will be determined by play-in games between the conference's 7-10 seeds this week.

The short play-in tournament pits the Los Angeles Lakers (7) against the Golden State Warriors (8), and the Memphis Grizzlies (9) vs. the San Antonio Spurs (10) in the first round. The winner between the Lakers and Warriors immediately gets the 7th seed, while the loser faces the winner of Memphis vs. San Antonio to play for the 8th spot.

In Sunday's win, Jordan Clarkson scored 33 points; Rudy Gobert added 13 points and 16 rebounds; and Mike Conley had 11 points, nine assists and six rebounds in his second game back from two weeks off due to an injury.