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Jazz beat Wolves to keep playoff hopes alive

Monday - 4/15/2013, 11:29pm  ET

Minnesota Timberwolves' Ricky Rubio, left, assumes a low profile around Utah Jazz's Al Jefferson of Spain in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Monday, April 15, 2013 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

JON KRAWCZYNSKI
AP Basketball Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- The Utah Jazz have been playing with a win-or-go-home desperation for the last three weeks. And it's all come down to one last game.

Al Jefferson had 22 points and eight rebounds to help Utah keep its playoff hopes alive with a 96-80 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Monday night, setting up one more must-win game in the season finale on Wednesday.

"It comes down to one game now," Jefferson said. "It's a big game. The only thing we can worry about is what we can control, going out there and trying to take care of the game, and trying to win, and just leave the rest up to the Lakers, I guess."

Mo Williams had 15 points and seven assists for the Jazz, who needed a win to avoid being eliminated in the Western Conference playoff race.

To get into the playoffs, the Jazz need to win at Memphis on Wednesday and for the Los Angeles Lakers to lose at home against Houston that night. Utah owns the tiebreaker after beating the Lakers two out of three times this season.

"I guess I have to try and get in touch with Kevin McHale and tell him to handle it for me," said Jefferson, who played for the Rockets' coach when both were in Minnesota.

Derrick Williams had 18 points and six rebounds for the Timberwolves, who were missing center Nikola Pekovic because of a bruised left calf.

The Jazz entered the night clinging to the postseason picture, down 1
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