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Utah Jazz are on the road, against the ropes in Game 5

Utah Jazz can join just a handful of teams that have forced a game 6 after being down 0-3 with a win.

Houston Rockets v Utah Jazz - Game Three
James Harden is welcomed to the Stifle Tower’s hometown, Swat Lake City
Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox in 2004. The Philadelphia Flyers in 2010. The Los Angeles Kings in 2014. And maybe ... the Utah Jazz in 2019?

No NBA team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win a 7-game series. But before 2004, no MLB team had done it, either. The Red Sox made history. The Flyers and Kings made history. All three of those teams went to the championship that year, and two of the teams won it all.

If - and that’s a gigantic, monumental IF - the Jazz can win tonight (they have a 29% chance according to fivethirtyeight), they have a really good chance of forcing a game 7 (59% to win game 6, per fivethirtyeight).

Game Info

When: Wednesday, April 24, 2019 • 6:00 PM MDT

Where: Toyota Center • Houston, TX


Radio: 97.5 FM | 1280 AM The Zone


Utah Jazz:

Dante Exum — Torn patellar tendon — OUT

Houston Rockets:


Keys to the game

3-point shooting

The Utah Jazz need to find their rhythm from outside. In order to win, they’ll have to hit a higher percentage of their threes and continue to limit the Rockets from deep like they did in games 3 and 4. If the Jazz hit at least 37% of their threes, or if they can hit 33% and limit Houston to under 35% the Jazz have a really good shot at winning tonight.

Joe Ingles

Ingles needs to be aggressive and effective. He’s going to be the X factor tonight. Jae Crowder is unlikely to repeat his beastly game 4 performance, and Donovan Mitchell needs some help on offense. If Ingles gets hot from downtown, that opens up the floor for Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert in the paint, and gives better looks to Utah’s other shooters like Royce O’Neale, Kyle Korver, and Georges Niang. The Jazz are 23-4 this season when Ingles scores 15 points or more (they were 18-5 last season when he scored 15+).

Playing from the inside out

Donovan Mitchell needs to attack the paint first to get layups, dunks, or free throws before shooting from outside or pulling up from mid-range. If he can force the issue a few times and get Houston’s defense scrambling, that unlocks Utah’s “blender” offense and makes them much more difficult to defend.