Jazz, Rockets meet in pivotal Game 5
(Sports Network) – The Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets meet in the pivotal Game
5 of their first-round series tonight at the Toyota Center.
This best-of-seven series is tied at 2-2. Game 6 is scheduled for Thursday at
Deron Williams finished with 25 points on 10-of-14 from the field, as the
fourth-seeded Jazz knocked off No. 5 Houston, 98-85, on Saturday at
EnergySolutions Arena to square their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Matt Harpring contributed 17 points in the victory, while Mehmet Okur netted
16 and Carlos Boozer registered 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Jazz, who
shot 46.1 percent from the floor and had earned an 81-67 victory on Thursday
in Game 3 of the series.
Yao Ming ended with 20 points and nine rebounds for the Rockets, who
outrebounded Utah 40-38 in Game 4. Tracy McGrady finished with 18 points in
The Rockets captured Games 1 and 2 of the series at the Toyota Center. Yao
poured in 28 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Rockets past the Jazz,
84-75, in the opener, while McGrady netted 31 to lead Houston to a 98-90
victory in the second game of the set.
Houston has lost five straight Game 5s in the postseason, while the
Jazz have dropped three straight Game 5s.
The Jazz captured the Northwest Division and are the fourth seed in the
West, while Houston is No. 5 and finished in third place in the Southwest
Division. The Rockets own home-court advantage in the series since they had a
better regular-season record than Utah.
There is plenty of playoff history between the Jazz and Rockets. This is the
sixth time that the teams are meeting in the postseason.
Houston defeated Utah in the first round of the postseason in 1995 and in the
1994 West finals. The Jazz knocked out the Rockets in the opening round of
1985 and 1998 and in the 1997 conference finals.
Utah ended a three-year playoff drought by qualifying for this year’s
postseason. The Jazz last appeared in the playoffs in 2003, when they were
eliminated in five games by the Sacramento Kings in the opening round.
The Jazz have not advanced past the first round since 2000. The last time Utah
was victorious in a playoff series was in 2000, when it eliminated Seattle,
3-2, in the first round.
Houston has not won a playoff series since 1997. The Rockets last postseason
series victory was when they defeated Seattle, 4-3, in the 1997 West semis.