Round: Western Conference Quarterfinals
Dates: April 27-May 7
Winner: Rockets, 3-2
The defending champion Rockets slunk into the playoffs as a lowly six seed and were all but eliminated by the 60-win Utah Jazz before the series even started. Everything was going according to plan as Utah held a 2-1 series lead, however 40 points apiece from Hakeem Olajuwon and Clyde Drexler kept Houston alive in Game 4. The Rockets would trail late in the series-deciding game, but Phi Slamma Jamma led the way again, with 30 and 10 each as the Rockets defeated the Jazz in Utah and began their improbable run to a second title.