The Series between the Rockets and Jazz was just 12 minutes away from ending in Game 4, but a huge fourth quarter from Donovan Mitchell helped propel the Jazz to a 107-91 victory. This still leaves them in a precarious 1-3 position, but tonight they’ll play in yet another elimination game. Game 5 will be played in Houston, can the Jazz muster up another superb performance on road this time?
 Utah Jazz (1-3) @  Houston Rockets (3-1)
When you compare the team point averages in this series (108.8 for Houston to 99 for Utah), it is fairly clear this series hasn’t been close when you consider the Jazz won by 16 in Game 4. The 3-point shooting and team defense of the Rockets is nothing to trifle with, and they’ve certainly continued their excellent play that started after the All-Star break. With another chance to close out the first round tonight at home, Houston has to come back with a big performance after Game 3’s defeat.
Donovan Mitchell had a perfect opportunity to send Game 3 to overtime, but he couldn’t knock the 3 down to tie the game. This clearly frustrated him, as he responded with a great 31 point outing, including 19 in the fourth quarter alone. Ricky Rubio was also fantastic, finishing with 18 points and 11 assists. If the Jazz can continue some excellent offense tonight in Game 5, we could have an interesting series on our hands.
- Not great shooting numbers (just 43% from the field and 31.4% from deep), but they had 24 assists on 37 made baskets, a sign of great ball movement.
- Dominant rebound advantage, finishing with 52 boards to the 35 of Houston.
- Jae Crowder stepped up huge as he replaced Derrick Favors in the starting lineup for the second straight game. He tallied 23 points on 8-13 shooting, including crucial baskets throughout the early and middle stages of the game to keep Utah close.
The Rockets have certainly been the superior team all series, but one terrible quarter in Game 4 prolonged the series another game. After scoring 79 through the first three quarters, Houston tallied just 12 in the fourth. They were playing on the road against an excellent defensive team, but for a team leading 3-0 that would benefit greatly from some rest before a (very likely potential) matchup with the defending champs, 12 points simply isn’t enough effort. Fortunately for the Rockets, they’ll get another shot at home this time.
- Houston continues to shoot the ball atrociously. As a team, they shot just 28-79 (35.4%) from the field, but 17-46 (37%) from beyond the arc, which did give them a +18 advantage.
- The Rockets got absolutely nothing from their bench last game. In 64 combined minutes, they finished with just 5 points on 2-16 shooting.
- Chris Paul had another fantastic effort despite the loss, finishing with 23 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists, 5 steals, and 2 blocks. On the other hand, Clint Capela struggled, ending the game with just 4 points and 7 rebounds on 1-6 shooting.
Pick: Houston Rockets -8.0
Utah played pretty well in Game 4, but Rubio and Mitchell did shoot a combined 17-43 to score their 49 points. That highlights Utah’s biggest weakness: their best offensive players just aren’t efficient scorers. There is no time when the becomes more clear than in the playoffs, when teams bring out their best effort on defense. The Jazz had some great performances from Rubio and Crowder in Game 4, but that isn’t something they can rely on tonight on the road. The Rockets will storm out of the game and close the series out so they can prepare for Golden State. Expect Houston to win.