NBA playoff picture: Jazz make up ground on Lakers, Grizzlies fall back

USA TODAY Sports

The Jazz moved within a half game of the Lakers for eighth in the West while Memphis is now tied with Denver for fourth.

With a win Saturday over the Memphis Grizzlies (44-21), the Utah Jazz (34-32) moved within a half game of the Los Angeles Lakers for eighth place in the Western Conference standings.

For more on the story, visit SLC Dunk or Grizzly Bear Blues

The Jazz had been among the top eight in the West most of the season, but lost ground in the standings with improved play from the Lakers over the last month. Utah is idle on Sunday while the Lakers host the Sacramento Kings (23-43). It is unclear whether the Lakers will have star Kobe Bryant, who sprained his ankle Wednesday. Bryant attempted to play on the sprain in Friday's win over the Indiana Pacers, but left the game after just one quarter and four missed shots.

With the loss to Utah Saturday, the Grizzlies fell into a tie for fourth in the West with the surging Denver Nuggets (45-22). Denver has won 12-straight games, the second-best streak in the league behind the 21-game winning streak the Miami Heat are currently on. Here are the full Western Conference standings:

WESTERN CONFERENCE W L PCT GB HOME ROAD CONF DIV STREAK L10
1 San Antonio 51 16 0.761 - 28-4 23-12 28-12 12-2 W2 7-3
2 Oklahoma City 49 17 0.742 30-4 19-13 32-10 7-4 W2 8-2
3 L.A. Clippers 45 21 0.682 25-8 20-13 27-13 8-4 L1 6-4
4 Memphis 44 21 0.677 6 25-8 19-13 24-15 6-5 L2 7-3
5 Denver 45 22 0.672 6 30-3 15-19 30-11 8-5 W11 10-0
6 Golden St. 37 30 0.552 14 22-10 15-20 19-19 7-5 L1 4-6
7 Houston 35 30 0.538 15 21-9 14-21 16-22 5-8 W1 6-4
8 L.A. Lakers 35 32 0.522 16 22-11 13-21 18-21 5-5 W1 7-3
Utah 34 32 0.515 16½ 24-8 10-24 19-20 5-5 W1 3-7
Portland 31 34 0.477 19 22-11 9-23 18-22 6-5 W2 6-4
Dallas 31 34 0.477 19 18-12 13-22 17-23 5-8 W1 6-4
Minnesota 22 40 0.355 26½ 15-16 7-24 12-26 3-10 L1 2-8
Sacramento 23 43 0.348 27½ 17-15 6-28 9-28 4-6 W1 4-6
New Orleans 22 44 0.333 28½ 12-20 10-24 12-27 4-9 L2 3-7
Phoenix 22 45 0.328 29 15-17 7-28 14-26 4-8 L4 4-6

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Carmelo has his knee drained

Felton returns to Portland

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