2014 NBA playoff schedule: Rockets face elimination against Blazers, Raptors host Nets

Craig Mitchelldyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Houston Rockets are on the brink of elimination, but two other playoff series come into Wednesday tied 2-2.

The San Antonio Spurs face the Dallas Mavericks and the Brooklyn Nets visit the Toronto Raptors with both series all knotted up heading into their respective Game 5s. Meanwhile, the Houston Rockets find themselves on the brink of elimination against the Portland Trail Blazers in the NBA's nightcap on Wednesday.

Mavericks vs. Spurs, Game 5

7 p.m. ET, TNT

Somehow, the Spurs survived a Game 4 where Tony Parker and Tim Duncan combined to shoot 11-for-30 from the floor. That of course meant that Manu Ginobili rolled back the calendar a few years to score 23 points in helping San Antonio to a 93-89 victory.

Dallas, deadlocked with San Antonio at two wins apiece, will be without former Spurs big man DeJuan Blairwho was suspended for kicking Tiago Splitter during Game 4. The Spurs will enter the Game 5 bout with Parker ailing and listed as day-to-day with an ankle sprain, according to the San Antonio Express-News. What is guaranteed is that Gregg Popovich will try to help Parker get better looks against what's been a stingy Dallas defense. Likewise, Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle will be hoping Monta Ellis can get going early after a poor shooting outing.

Nets vs. Raptors, Game 5

7:30 p.m. ET, NBATV

Toronto and Brooklyn have jostled to gain control of the series through four games, and they enter Game 5 tied 2-2 and without many answers to who has the advantage, momentum or traction. The Raptors did manage to get out to an early Game 4 lead, then lost their lead, then clamped back down in the fourth quarter to hold the Nets to 12 points in the final 12 minutes of a 87-79 win.

In what's been a relatively low-scoring series through four games, three-point shots and free throws could end up being the difference. Combined, the two teams have only eclipsed 100 points twice out of their eight final point totals, and Brooklyn found that 10 missed free throws in their last game might have been a problem in a game where the three-point shots weren't falling for either team.

Blazers vs. Rockets, Game 5

9:30 p.m. ET, TNT

Yes, it's been entertaining. But don't mistake three overtime games for a good thing as far as the Houston Rockets are concerned. Dwight Howard and James Harden face elimination at home on Wednesday against the Portland Trail Blazers, and there's a bit more drama heading into Game 5. Portland guard Mo Williams added a bit of spark to the series after the Game 4 Blazers win by jawing at the Houston bench as the players left the court.

It's also been entertaining from an offensive standpoint on the court. Both teams shot better than 48 percent overall and 39 percent from three-point land in Game 4, so of course it's a matter of whether Terry Stotts or Kevin McHale can plug any of their defensive holes. If Houston can't hold down any of LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard or Nicolas Batum, the Rockets will be gone fishing.

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