The Portland Trail Blazers play Game 5 with an opportunity to close the series and advance to the second round. Portland registered a narrow win over the Houston Rockets in the last encounter to take a crucial 3-1 lead in the seven-game series.
Both teams have played a number of close games in the series, but Portland has managed to hold on to win three of them. The comeback in the series looks fairly difficult for Houston, but their former star Hakeem Olajuwon has advised the Rockets to take it one game at a time and put the pressure back on Portland.
"You focus just on the one game and shift the game back to Portland [and] there will be tremendous pressure on the Portland team," Olajuwon said. "You have no choice right now. You've got to focus."
Houston players are aware of the situation as their comeback in the series looks highly unlikely. Power forward Chandler Parsons said the team doesn't want to end its season early and have to be resilient in Game 5.
"It's desperation time," Parsons said. "We don't want our season to end and if we lose that's going to happen. All of our backs are against the wall and we've just got to be a resilient team."
Dwight Howard said the players need to believe in themselves. "We've got to really believe and that's the only way we're going to win it," Howard said. "It starts with myself and James [Harden]."
Portland's Damian Lillard said the Trail Blazers are a mentally tough outfit and want to finish the series in the fifth game.
"We want to finish the series right now and it's going to take a lot of focus from our team and a lot of mental toughness and togetherness," Lillard said. "That's the only way we're going to get it done on the road."
Where to Watch Live
The game is scheduled for a 9:30 pm ET (7:00 am IST, 1:00 am GMT) start with live coverage on TNT in the US and Sony Six and Sony Six HD in India. The game can be watched via live streaming online in the US HERE or HERE. The game can be live streamed by international viewers, including India, HERE.