NBA

Rockets vs. Jazz: Houston aims to close out Utah in Game 5

James Harden of the Rockets vs. Joe Ingles of the Jazz

As the 2018 NBA playoffs roll on, the Houston Rockets look to close out the Utah Jazz back home at the Toyota Center Tuesday night.

While it has been a lopsided series, for the most part, the Rockets and Jazz have been physical towards each other. Neither team has held back on the trash talk either, as rookie Donovan Mitchell showed during a postgame interview. In the interview, Mitchell aired his frustration out to the media. In particular, he wasn’t too happy with how Rockets Star guard James Harden has been getting foul calls all series. Unfortunately, Mitchell has to learn that star players who create those opportunities often earn those calls, no matter how ridiculous they may be.

Now as the series shifts back to Houston, the Rockets hold a commanding 3-1 lead and will look to close the series out at the Toyota Center on Tuesday night. Here’s a look at the final scores so far:

Game 1: 110-96, Rockets lead 1-0

Game 2: 116-108 Series tied 1-1

Game 3: 113-92 Rockets lead 2-1

Game 4: 100-87, Rockets lead 3-1

Game 5: Jazz at Rockets, 7:00 P.M. Central time

In the lone Jazz victory, Utah played as solid a defensive game as a team can play on Houston. The Rockets, for their part, came out lackluster and struggled to get it going at the beginning. Joe Ingles came to play and had himself a game, scoring 27 points on 10-13 shooting from the field (7-9 from beyond the arc). Meanwhile, Rudy Gobert also provided 14 rebounds and three blocks. Alec Burks came off the bench and provided 17 points while Jae Crowder also scored 15 points in the victory.

However, one thing is certain. If Houston doesn’t shoot well, they often fall asleep on defense and lack energy. In fact, in the three Houston wins, Utah has failed to score over 100 points. Also, a factor in Houston’s road victories is their aggressive defense. The main person controlling the paint in this series has been Clint Capela, not Rudy Gobert. Capela, in many ways, is Houston’s X-factor. He’s proven to be lethal on both ends of the floor and has been a matchup problem. In Game 4, Capela recorded 12 points, 15 boards, and six blocks.

Whether the series ends in Houston or not Tuesday night, Game 5 should prove to be entertaining. Rockets fans are prepared to celebrate a second trip to the Western Conference Finals for the second time in four years. Chris Paul is familiar with 3-1 leads. He also knows what it’s like to blow such a lead. The difference between this squad and his Clippers squad of 2015 is the poise Houston has. Despite the lead, the Rockets are not celebrating too soon and are ready to handle their business.

Game 5 will be on TNT at 7:00 P.M. Central Time at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.

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