Our Wednesday NBA playoffs preview highlights Game 5 between the Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Semi-finals, along with tips for all other matches being played today.
10:00 (AEST), Wed 9th May @ Toyota Center
History: Played 240: Jazz 125 V Rockets 115.
Last meeting: May 7, 2018: Rockets 100 d Jazz 87 at Vivint Smart Home Arena.
Final Thoughts: The Houston Rockets stand just one victory from a spot in the Western Conference Finals after a successful two-win visit to Salt Lake City.
After the Utah Jazz levelled the series with a 116-108 result in Houston in Game 2, the Rockets surged to 113-92 and 100-87 wins to take a 3-1 lead.
A feature of the last two games has been the prolific James Harden taken something of a back-seat in the scoring stakes. He and Eric Gordon had 25 points each in Game 3, while in Game 4 Harden put up 24 points as Chris Paul (27 pts, 12 reb, 6 ast) dominated proceedings.
Encouragingly for the Jazz, Donovan Mitchell produced an improved individual performance (25 pts, 9 reb) after being shut down in Game 3, but some of his teammates will have to come to the party if the underdogs are to keep the series alive.
Ricky Rubio and Dante Exum have been ruled out, however, which makes the Jazz’s task that much tougher. Mitchell also shone an unwanted spotlight on himself post-Game 4 with an expletive-laden rant about Harden – as if ‘The Beard’ and the Rockets needed any more reason to fire up.
The Jazz have had a memorable season to get to this point, but it seems almost certain their run will come to an end. The Rockets will be eager to clinch the series in front of their home fans – who they have only lost in front of eight times in 46 games this season – and get maximum rest before a likely showdown with the Warriors.
|New Orleans Pelicans V Golden State Warriors||Total – Over 228 @ $1.92|