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article imageOp-Ed: NBA: Grizzlies hurt Jazz's playoff hopes

By Layne Weiss     Apr 15, 2012 in Sports
Memphis - is reporting that due to a 4th quarter power burst by O.J Mayo, the Memphis Grizzlies were able to beat the Utah Jazz Saturday, 103-98.
Mayo scored 17 of his 20 points in the 4th, the Huffington Post reports.
"I just found a little rhythm and got some open shots and knocked them down," said Mayo, who hit three of his four shots from outside his arc in the 4th quarter, CBS Sports reports. "Sometimes you make them, sometimes you miss them. I made them."
Early in the 4th, the Jazz led the Grizzlies by 4, but Mayo scored 10 straight points for Memphis, the Huff Post reports.
"I knew OJ was so hot, we continued to give him the ball," Memphis coach Lionel Hollins told the Memphis Flyer. "On the last play, Marc (Gasol) was either going to get a layup or OJ was going to get the three."
Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 26 points. Mike Conley and Marc Gasol had 17 points each.
According to CBS Sports, Memphis is now 1.5 games behind the Clippers for 4th place and homecourt advantage. The Clippers beat the Warriors 112-104 Saturday.
The Grizzlies are now the 5th seeded team in the Western Conference, while the Jazz sit at 10th, just one game behind the Phoenix Suns, who suffered a tough loss against the Spurs Saturday.
Mathematically, the Suns and Jazz are not eliminated from the playoffs yet, but their hopes have undoubtedly been hurt. At this point, it just depends on who wants it more. Watching the Suns/Spurs game last night, there were moments where it was hard to tell if the Suns stopped caring or if the Spurs were playing just THAT good.
As of right now, the Nuggets are the 8th seeded team in the West, and will be playing the Thunder, my prediction to win the championship this year.
Saturday's game was the Jazz's second straight loss. Even with the loss, Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin still sounded optimistic about his team's playoff chances, CBS Sports reports.
"We aren't out of it by any stretch of the imagination," Corbin said. "Plus, we want to continue to grow as a team.These experiences this time of year are invaluable to us. We are getting in game situations and pressure situations to grow and learn how to play."
In the end, both the Grizzlies and Jazz shot about 48%. The Jazz had 14 turnovers, and Memphis had 12.
The Timberwolves, Warriors, Kings, and Hornets have all been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but the fight for the 8th spot is still open, which raises the ever so popular question, who wants it more?
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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