Wednesday , Apr , 11 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Jazz need to get their act together

(Sports Network) – Even though Utah has clinched the Northwest Division, it
is still battling for home-court advantage in the first round of
the playoffs. The Jazz, who are going back to the postseason after a three-
year drought, are the fourth seed in the Western Conference standings,
but are a half game behind No. 5 Houston.

The Jazz (48-29) are a higher seed than the Rockets (49-29) because they
clinched the Northwest. However, the team with the better record when the
regular season ends will get the home-court edge in round one.

Northwest Division rivals battle on Wednesday, as the red-hot Denver Nuggets
visit the struggling Jazz at EnergySolutions Arena. It is the fourth and final
meeting of the campaign between the clubs. The Jazz are 3-0 against Denver
this season and have won six in a row in the series.

Utah enters Wednesday’s contest on a four-game losing streak. On Monday,
Stephen Jackson scored 28 points to lead the Golden State Warriors to a
126-102 win over the Jazz at ORACLE Arena.

Ronnie Brewer poured in 21 points for the Jazz, who have lost five of their
last six games overall. All-Star Carlos Boozer finished with 17 points and 11
rebounds, while Matt Harpring scored 17 off the bench.

On the injury front for Utah, starting point guard Deron Williams (strained
left groin) and Gordan Giricek (sore right ribs) are questionable for
tonight’s contest. Williams is averaging 16.5 points and a team-best 9.4
assists in 75 games this season.

The Jazz are an impressive 29-8 at home this season. They will visit Josh
Howard and the NBA-best Dallas Mavericks on Friday at American Airlines

After the Jazz visit Dallas, they return home for a season-ending three-game
homestand. Utah will host Phoenix, Portland and Houston during the stand.

Boozer leads the Jazz in scoring (21.1 ppg) and rebounding (11.9 rpg), while
Williams, who is third on the team in scoring (16.5 ppg), has dished out a
team-best 9.4 assists per game.