Thunder vs. Jazz final score: Oklahoma City deals Jazz a 90-80 loss in critical game

USA TODAY Sports

Utah's out of the top eight in the Western Conference for now.

The Oklahoma City Thunder held on Tuesday for a 90-80 win over the Utah Jazz, who suffered a loss at a crucial point in their attempt to hold on to the Western Conference's final playoff spot.

The Thunder's stakes were a bit lower Tuesday, though still significant; for them, Tuesday's win meant they're now half a game behind the San Antonio Spurs for the top seed in the Western Conference.

Utah is now 41-38, and has fallen percentage points behind the 40-37 Los Angeles Lakers for the eighth spot in the playoffs out of the West. That percentage-point discrepancy will normalize, as the Lakers have five games left--one late Tuesday against the New Orleans Hornets--to Utah's three.

Utah was down 84-78 in the final minute before forcing a shot-clock violation on the Thunder. Paul Millsap quickly answered with a slam for the Jazz, making the score 84-80 with 23.4 seconds left. But Kevin Durant hit two free throws to give Oklahoma City a six-point lead.

Durant had 21 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists for the Thunder.

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