Entering Wednesday night's season finale against the Memphis Grizzlies, the stakes were simple for the Utah Jazz: If they won, they kept their hopes alive for the No. 8 seed in the Western Conference playoffs. If they lost, Utah was eliminated from playoff contention and their season was over.
Unfortunately, with their season on the line, the Jazz fell apart in the most colossal way possible, losing to the Grizzlies, 86-70, in Memphis.
For the Jazz, their entire 2013 season came down to a disappointing third quarter. Trailing by just two points at intermission, Utah was outscored 25-13 in the third to seal their fate and concede the West's final playoff spot to the Los Angeles Lakers, who play late Thursday night against Houston. Al Jefferson led Utah with 22 points and 16 rebounds in defeat.
Meanwhile for Memphis, they now must wait to see how their playoff fate will shake out.
With Denver's win on Wednesday night, it means that the Nuggets have clinched the No. 3 seed, and locked both the Grizzlies and Clippers into the No. 4 and 5 spots. It is yet to be determined which team will be slotted in which spot, however.
With Memphis' victory, they now need the Clippers to lose late Wednesday night to clinch the No. 4 seed and home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
A Clippers win over Sacramento means they will still play the Grizzlies, but that Game 1 will be played at the Staples Center instead.