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NBA Game Previews for April 25, 2017
April 25, 2017 at 8:00 PM ET

Rockets and Thunder Square Off in Potentially Decisive Game 5

By Juan Carlos Blanco

The Oklahoma City Thunder travel back to the Lone Star State on Tuesday to take on the Houston Rockets at Toyota Center in Game 5 of the Western Conference first-round playoffs.

Posted on April 25, 2017 at 11:45 PM ET

April 25, 2017 at 9:00 PM ET

Spurs Battle Grizzlies in Game 5

By Nick Brazzoni  

The San Antonio Spurs will play host to the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday in Game 5 of their first-round Western Conference playoff series at AT&T Center. After convincingly earning a 2-0 lead in the series by winning Games 1 and 2 by a combined 43 points, the Spurs (2-2) failed to steal either of the two road games in Memphis and find themselves stuck in a competitive first-round series. In Game 4, San Antonio fell just short despite the team playing a fairly poor game overall, as they needed the heroic of both Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard. Parker finished with an impressive 22 points, five assists and four rebounds, but Leonard decided to take over late and lead a comeback in the game's final quarter. He finished with a game-high 43 points in 44 minutes to go along with eight rebounds and six steals. As they return home, the Spurs will look to get more out of starting power forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who, despite playing 44 minutes in the contest, managed to grab just two rebounds and score 13 points. As for the Grizzlies (2-2), their frontcourt duo is playing as strong as it has ever played this season, with the pairing of Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph both recording double-double's in Saturday's Game 4 victory, combining for 28 points and 23 rebounds. The real star for Memphis, however, has been starting point guard Mike Conley, who played tremendously over the Grizzlies' two-game home stand. In Game 4, Conley made big shot after big shot en route to scoring a team-high 35 points to go along with nine rebounds and eight assists. Conley has now bounced back in a big way following two losses to open up the series, as the point guard 46 percent from three 55.6 percent from the field overall on his way to scoring a total of 59 points over the last two contests.

Posted on April 25, 2017 at 1:54 AM ET

April 25, 2017 at 10:30 PM ET

Jazz Look To Carry Momentum Into Game 5

By Dan Bruno  

The Los Angeles Clippers play host to the Utah Jazz in Game 5 of the Western Conference first-round playoffs, at Staples Center on Tuesday evening. The series is tied 2-2. The Jazz did a great job to bounce back from their home loss in Game 3, with a 105-98 win at home in Game 4, to even the series at two apiece. Gordon Hayward only played nine minutes in Game 4, before leaving due to illness, but should be ready for action on Tuesday. Rudy Gobert (knee), who missed the first three games, was back in the line up for Game 4 and contributed 15 points, 13 rebounds and two blocks, in 24 minutes. Gobert is expected to be ready for Game 5. Joe Johnson has come up huge for the Jazz twice in this series; most recently in Game 4, where he poured in 28 points on 12-17 shooting, five assists and five rebounds, in 35 minutes, to make up for the absence of Hayward. Joe Ingles also stepped it up in Game 4, with a career-high 11 assists, to go along with six rebounds and eight points, in 38 minutes. With the potential for a full healthy lineup in Game 5, the Jazz have a very good chance to build some momentum, especially now that the Clippers are missing one of their stars. Blake Griffin (toe) was injured in the first half of Game 3 and has been ruled out for the remainder of the playoffs, leaving the Clippers in a tough position. Marreese Speights started in place of Griffin in Game 4, but struggled with only five points on 2-of-8 shooting, along with four rebounds and one assist, in 21 minutes. Meanwhile, Chris Paul was magnificent with 27 points, 12 assists, nine rebounds and one steal in Game 4 and will have to maintain that high level of play going forward. DeAndre Jordan finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds in Game 4, but no other player grabbed more than five rebounds for the Clippers, as the Jazz won the battle on the glass. Both teams have won once on the road in this series, proving that the only advantage belongs to the team that plays better.

Posted on April 25, 2017 at 12:56 AM ET      Updated on April 25, 2017 at 2:40 AM ET