The plot thickens. With the series now tied at 2-2, the scene is in Utah. It will only get more interesting from here, and it will be fun to see how everything progresses. Unlike in their last series, where the road team won the first six games, the Clippers have won two at home and lost two on the road to this point.
L.A. does have a real chance to take the series lead. All the adjustments they have been making have been a huge key in their turnaround. Marcus Morris hitting five first-half threes in game four after only making one total in the prior three games was a game-changer. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George are both locked in. This is a very dangerous bunch.
The Jazz, on the other hand, are fighting for their playoff lives right now. Going down in the series with a road game after would not be an ideal scenario for them. If that happened, they would be in a pit of a perilous spot. The bench has not been good for them, the Conley injury forcing Joe Ingles into the starting unit.
The Jazz will need to dig deep and win the perimeter battle if they want a series lead.
ODDS: The spread for game 5 is currently set at UTAH -2.5. The over/under is 222 points.
Clippers Seek 3-2 Lead
Trailing 0-2 and 3-2 in the last round of the playoffs, the Clippers never quit. Down 0-2 again in round two, they have been able to once more turn things around quickly. The series is all even, and it becomes a best-of-3 now. They have the talent to hang with any teams and the switchability on their roster that few other NBA squads can match.
Putting Morris at the center has opened the floor in a huge way. And when he’s out, Batum can handle it. For short stretches, Ivica Zubac still comes in and plays big in the paint. But, they have the rotation figured out again, and smooth sailing has been the case. Surprisingly, Rajon Rondo has sat the last couple of games.
The keys to victory include a 35-point night from Kawhi, making somebody other than Mitchell dominate and getting Rudy Gobert into foul trouble.
Jazz Seeking Series Lead
Up 3-1 in their playoff-opening series vs. Denver last year, the Jazz folded. They dropped three in a row in the bubble and were sent home early. And now, having once led 2-0, they have watched that disappear and see things become tied at two games apiece. Not ideal.
Mitchell has been playing out of his mind in these playoffs, but it has not been enough the past couple of contests. With Conley out, the main facilitator is not on the floor. Playing without him for a game or two is one thing. But a whole series? The team is not built to win without that man.
If they want a win, they need Mitchell to score 40+, to win the three-point battle, and make somebody besides Kawhi and PG beat them.
Clippers Win Nail Biter
The game will be a close one, but Utah will fall short. 3-2 Clip lead!
FREE PLAY: LAC +2.5
OVER/UNDER: OVER 222
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