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Sunday’s playoff game creates faith-based dilemma for some Utah Jazz fans

SALT LAKE CITY -- Some Utah Jazz season ticket holders have to choose between their favorite team and their faith this weekend.

Game Four against the Clippers marks the first time all season the Jazz will play a home game on a Sunday.

It’s arguably the most important game of the season, according to season ticket holder Lowell Crabb, who has attended all but four home games all season.

"We go the whole year, you watch all the regular season games, you connect with the players, you feel like you are part of it,” Crabb said.

However, despite his fanaticism for the Jazz, he will not be going to Sunday’s playoff game.

"It's a bummer, it's a super big bummer, it's a disappointment for sure," he said.

His family decided it just wouldn't be right to attend Sunday's game, due to their LDS faith. Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints often follow strict rules for observing the sanctity of the Sabbath day.

"Not worth it to me as far as my beliefs and kind of where we're at," Crabb said.

So Crabb, along with other LDS fans, are selling their tickets on internet sites and trying to get their money back. Crabb spent more than $1,000 for his four seats. He said it's not fair because the Jazz required him to commit to the tickets before the playoff schedule was even released.

"When it's kind of sprung on to you last-minute after you made the decision, I think that's kind of where the rub is, you are kind of left with the bag with really no control," Crabb said.

The Jazz said they ask the NBA not to schedule Sunday home games, but when it comes to the playoffs there are lots of factors involved.

"It's kind of confusing, I guess probably would be a way to say it, where they are supportive during one portion of the year and then all of a sudden, when it's big money and the TV deals are big, they go the other direction," Crabb said.

Not everyone is picking their religion over the Jazz. On the BYU fan site CougarBoard.com, John Boy Walton wrote, "I'm skipping church Sunday to go to game four."

Someone named Kerbouchard replied, "And God will punish you by making the Jazz lose."

Crabb said there is no doubt the arena will still have its share of Mormons in attendance Sunday, and he said that's OK and they shouldn't be judged for it.

"A couple of my buddies have been like, ‘Oh, you know, the man upstairs will understand,’ and all that, so I know there is a fair amount that are cool going," Crabb said.