Dante Exum was injured in the second half of Game 4. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr. / Getty Images)
Tuesday brings two more possible closeouts, a pair of Game 5s in the Western Conference between the Houston Rockets and Utah Jazz, followed by Golden State Warriors and New Orleans Pelicans. Is this the end of the line for jazz and pelicans? We will do live analysis in both games and participate in the discussions in the comments. Find out about yesterday's results here.
Timetable and results | Read foreplay | Comment section Question & Answer
If the Utah Jazz want to bring their Western Conference semi-finals series back to Salt Lake City for Game 6, they will have to do it without Ricky Rubio and Dante Exum.
The two international defenders – Rubio comes from Spain, Exum comes from Australia – will miss Game 5 on Tuesday evening with a thigh strain. Rubio missed the entire series after being injured in the first game of the first round against Oklahoma City, while Exum injured himself in the second half of Game 4 on Sunday night.
Jae Crowder seems to start again for jazz, but the lack of rubio and exum leaves Utah without two players who can offensively attack the edge and defend effectively. This bothers rookie Donovan Mitchell, who in this series has dealt with everything Houston's defense has done.
Utah has been able to win in Houston before. It will be a monumental challenge for jazz to do it a second time.
- Utah Jazz at Houston Rockets (HOU performs 3-1), 8 pm, TNT
- New Orleans Pelicans at Golden State Warriors (GSW performs 3-1), 10:30 pm, TNT
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