Read a preview and watch a live stream of the Blazers vs the Rockets.
Where: Game 5 – Toyota Center, Houston.
When: Thursday May 1, 02:30 BST
The Houston Rockets host the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 5 on Wednesday night knowing that they must win in order to keep their playoff hopes alive as they trail 3-1 in this series.
Former star Hakeem Olajuwon insists that the hosts must take it one game at a time as essentially if Houston win on Wednesday, then the pressure shifts back on to Portland in front of their own fans.
However, some of the players have insisted that this is now “desperation time”, as they are not ready to see their season end yet, especially in such a closely fought series.
Three of the four games in this series so far have been decided in overtime while two of Houston’s losses were by a total of five points, and ultimately the little details really do matter in this match-up.
James Harden has struggled aside from his 37-point effort in Houston’s only win, and although he knows that he must be more aggressive in getting to the basket, Portland have found a way to restrict him.
Nevertheless, along with Dwight Howard, he is ready to go again and give everything on Wednesday and Portland must be ready for it according to point guard Damian Lillard.
The Trail Blazers have lost in the first round in their last six trips to the playoffs, and Lillard admits that they just want to finish the job off at the first time of asking and not let the nerves build.
To do so, they will need LaMarcus Aldridge to continue at the same pace of scoring, as he combined for 89 points in the first two games before scoring 23 and 29 points in the two games at home.
Aldridge insists that his team must match the intensity of Houston in this make-or-break clash for the hosts, and if they can do that then hopefully the rest will take care of itself.