LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz have a chance to close out the Denver Nuggets in Game 5 of their playoff series Tuesday night.
The Jazz lead the Nuggets 3 games to 1, but they know closing out the third seed will be tough.
“To be honest with you, we’re just sticking with the script, doing what we’re doing,” said Jordan Clarkson, who scored 24 points in the Jazz 129-127 Game 4 victory Sunday. “It’s just another game and we just need a win, that’s it.”
Utah is 9-0 all-time when leading a playoff series 3 games to 1.
“We’ve got our hands full every night against Denver,” added head coach Quin Snyder. “So particularly in this situation, we need to try to continue to do the things that you can do from a discipline standpoint to make that effort worthwhile.”
Denver played much better in Game 4 than they did in the previous two games, both blowout wins by the Jazz. And they say they are not going down without a fight.
“We know its going to be an uphill battle,” said Nuggets forward Paul Millsap. “But we’re not looking at three wins, we’re looking at one win. Just take care of business tomorrow and give ourselves an opportunity to give ourselves a chance.”
Millsap was on the last Jazz team that beat Denver in the playoffs in 2010, and he’s seen a different Utah team since the return of Mike Conley:
“He’s brought energy and happiness,” Millsap said about Conley, who missed the first two games of the series for the birth of his son. “Whenever you have a kid your energy and your aura is a little different, so I think he brought that to the team and kind of hyped them up a little bit. We have to figure it out and slow them down, slow him down because he’s been playing phenomenal.”
Conley has scored 53 points in 57 minutes in his two games in the series, with zero turnovers, and he’s shooting almost 70% from 3-point range.
“He’s just being aggressive and shooting the shots he’s used to making,” Clarkson said. “It’s just him staying in the mind frame of I’m going to take these shots and I’m going to make them.”
“There’s clarity there for him and that allows him to play at the highest level,” said Snyder. “And that’s what we’re seeing.”
Game 5 is set to tip off at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday.