Can Warriors Find Motivation in Regular-season Finale Vs Jazz?

After a challenging four weeks, the Warriors close out the regular season Tuesday night against the Utah Jazz at Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 5 p.m., with tipoff scheduled for 6:10.

The Warriors (58-23) are 7-9 over their last 16 games, with Stephen Curry missing all but one. They've won four of six since All-Stars Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson reunited but value this game as a tune-up for the playoffs.

After spending the first half of the season out of the playoff race, the Jazz (47-33) have generated the biggest in-season turnaround of any team in the league, winning 29 of its last 36 games to clinch a playoff berth.

There is a tiny chance the teams will meet when the first round begins this weekend.

Jazz by 7.5

Klay Thompson vs. Donovan Mitchell: Spending the past three months gaining ground on Ben Simmons in the Rookie of the Year race, Mitchell has become the head of the Utah snake. He leads all rookie scorers and is third in steals and minutes. Since returning from injury on Marc 31, Thompson has been a barometer for the Warriors, who are 4-2, with all four wins coming when he scored at least 20 points. It's likely the Warriors will limit Thompson to 25-30 minutes.

Warriors: C Damian Jones (L mid-foot sprain) is listed as probable. G Stephen Curry (L MCL sprain), G/F Andre Iguodala (L knee soreness) and G Pat McCaw (lumbar spine contusion) are listed as out.

Jazz: G Thabo Sefolosha (R knee surgery) is listed as out.

LAST 10:
Warriors: 5-5. Jazz: 7-3.

John Goble (crew chief), Mark Ayotte, Derek Richardson

The Warriors posted a 126-101 win on Dec. 27 in Oakland but lost the next two meetings, 129-99 on Jan. 30 at Utah and 110-91 on March 25 in Oakland. They won two of three meetings last season and are 10-4 against the Jazz in the Steve Kerr era.

MOTIVATIONS: While the Warriors are locked into the No. 2 seed in the West, Utah currently holds the 4-seed, with a decent chance to rise to No. 3. The Warriors are trying to rediscover their best selves, which means focusing on defensive habits and limiting turnovers. There may be no better, or timely, test than the Jazz.

THE BIG MEN: Utah is one of few teams to start two conventional big men, with 7-1 Rudy Gobert and 6-10, 265-pound Derrick Favors. The Warriors will struggle with the size matchup, so they'll toy with speeding up the game in hopes of outrunning the dinosaurs.

KLAY 22: If Thompson scores at least 22 points, he will finish the season with an average of least 20 ppg. That would, along with the totals of Durant (26.6) and Curry (26.4), make the Warriors the fourth team in NBA history to have three 20-ppg scorers in back-to-back seasons and the first since Seattle in 1987 and 1988.

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