Our Monday NBA playoffs preview highlights Game 4 between the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz in the Western Conference Semi-finals, along with tips for all other matches being played today.
10:00 (AEST), Mon 7th May @ Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City
History: Played 239: Jazz 125 V Rockets 114.
Last meeting: May 5, 2018: Rockets 113 d Jazz 92 at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Final Thoughts: The Houston Rockets wrested back control of their series against the Utah Jazz with a convincing road win in Game 3 and can all but book their spot in the Western Conference Finals with a second straight victory in Salt Lake City.
Eric Gordon stepped up from the Houston bench to finish as the equal-top-scorer (with James Harden) with 25 points. Harden also had 12 assists.
But after the Jazz carved out a shock 116-108 win to level the series in Game 2, it was the Rockets’ defence that underpinned their bounce-back performance. Utah’s rookie star Donovan Mitchell was blotted out – scoring just 10 points – while Royce O’Neal (17 pts) was the only Jazz player to post more than 14.
Mitchell’s form slump – shooting 32 percent against the Rockets after shooting 46 percent in the first round against the Thunder – is a major concern ahead of a must-win game for the Jazz.
The Rockets have won all three of their games at Vivint Smart Home Arena this season by 11-plus margins, with the Game 3 result snapping the Jazz’s seven-match winning streak at home.
The Rockets are now an imposing 30-14 on the road this season.
Houston have their tails up and look set to take a 3-1 lead back home as they aim to wrap this series up nice and quick.
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