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Wheels Fall Off The Jazz Train

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In the Western Conference first round playoff series between the fourth seeded Denver Nuggets and the fifth seed Utah Jazz, the Jazz has the upper hand in which they lead the series 3-2 and one win away to advance to the Western Conference Semifinals and meet the winners of the Los Angeles Lakers and Oklahoma City Thunder series (Lakers lead series 3-2).

After losing Game 1 in their series opener, the Jazz racked up three consecutive victories and they are on the verge of advancing deeper into the playoffs. Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer and Paul Millsap have been spectacular leading the team to victories over the Carmela Anthony-led Nuggets. Their Game 2 win was a critical one because they are able to steal the home court advantage from the Nuggets and Games 3 and 4 allowed the team to defend their home court and got the commanding 3-1 lead. In any professional sports in which a team leads 3-1, statistics show that they are the heavy favorites to win the series. Such is what happen for the Jazz. They became the heavy favorites to advance to the next round even if the Nuggets has the edge during the regular season in which the Nuggets are 3-1 against the Jazz.

This series is the fourth meeting between the two teams in which the Jazz won the first two in the series with the 3rd going the Nuggets way. The Jazz are hoping to close out the series in Game 5 at Pepsi Center in Denver. After all, they were able to get the win in the Nugget’s home court in Game 2.

Game 5 started so close for both teams with the Jazz led the half 52-50. In their three consecutive wins, they were in the lead during the first half and hopes were high in Game 5 that they will be able to get the victory and advance in the playoff. However, the complexion of the game changes midway in the third quarter in which the Nuggets enjoyed double digit spread. The third quarter ended with the Nuggets leading, 86-81 and they never relinquished this lead. The fourth quarter also went the way of the Nuggets with the game ended at 116-102 in favor of the Nuggets and the series coming back to Jazz for Game 6.

Deron and Carlos had their usual nightly numbers with Deron leading the scoring with 34 points plus 10 assists and Carlos hauling down 16 rebounds. The bench proved to be the weak link for Jazz, especially Kyle Korver who just 0 of 9 from the field. Nevertheless, the Jazz will try to close out the series at Salt Lake City and they have defended their home court very well.

Nancy Smith is one of the owners of RobbinsSports.com, an online retailer specializing in Baseball Uniforms and Gym Bags