Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports
The beauty of erratic play is eventually it swings your way.
And with that, the fickle Utah Jazz are rolling, winners of five consecutive games.
With a 112-102 home victory against the Portland Trail Blazers, Utah is now driving the eighth seed in the Western Conference, and Kobe Bryant’s postseason guarantee is in peril.
The Jazz (39-36) move a half-game ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers (38-36) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West. Utah is flying high, as presented by this Jeremy Evans' throwdown.
Utah has seven games remaining, four at home and four against winning teams. The Lakers play six of their remaining eight games at home, and five come against teams above .500.
The five-game win streak has included four home wins, but pressure for Utah will come in the form of away games against the Golden State Warriors, Minnesota Timberwolves and Memphis Grizzlies. Utah is 11-27 on the road this season.
Utah hosts the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Lakers look to fend off the Dallas Mavericks when the two teams meet on Tuesday. Dallas trails the Lakers by 1.5 games and Utah by two games.
The Jazz got production out of a starting perimeter of Mo Williams, Randy Foye and Gordon Hayward. Williams tallied 20 points and nine assists. Foye and Hayward combined for 23 points and six assists.