They say the NBA is a make-or-miss league, and in the case of the Jazz in these playoffs against the Rockets, it had been more of a miss-and-miss league.

A miss-and-miss-and-miss-some-more league.

A miss-and-face-elimination league.

After a regular season of efficient — if not expansive and explosive — shooting, the Jazz had chucked the ball up in the postseason as though they were shooting in full scuba gear from the bottom of the Great Salt Lake. They couldn’t throw it out of the ocean.

In Game 4 at Vivint Arena, teetering on the edge of getting swept by Houston, they countered with just enough accuracy to survive, to play another day, winning by the count of 107-91.

The Jazz were fortunate in this regard: As they shot a bit better, the Rockets shot a lot worse.

There’s no real explaining it, the coming and going of touch from the field. It’s one of those roundball mysteries that vexes the mind. Not even the players themselves can begin to understand it.

Quin Snyder told his players throughout this series, and again on Monday night, to “keep shooting good shots.”

He had no control over whether the result of those shots would be good.

It was good enough, the Jazz hitting 37 of 86 attempts overall, for 43 percent. They even outscored Houston from the foul line.

In truth, the Jazz were nothing more than an average offensive team that got by this season with stout defense and an adequate attack. But in three straight games against these Rockets, adequate descended to awful.

Houston puts up solid defense, but not the kind of resistance that should cause a group like the Jazz to seem as though they are wearing thick leather gloves, heaving microwaves into the back of a two-ton. Everybody knew the Jazz could use more shooters, but this series had made it look as though they had none.

Coming into Game 4, the Jazz had hit only 101 of their 252 attempts overall, 27 of 106 from deep. From the deep.

It was worse than just that. According to people who track such things, the Jazz had made just 19 percent of their 3-pointers — 12 of 64 — when no Rocket was within shouting distance of them, when the Jazz were guarded by … nobody.

During the regular season, the Jazz made nearly 40 percent of those open looks.

That’s not a matter of facing strong defense, it’s a matter of shooters freaking out, of them not doing what they normally do. Physiologists say the human body reacts differently when it’s under pressure. And that might be expected to be evidenced in an individual player or two, but not an entire squad of players, players who collectively should be accustomed to the elevated stakes.

Much to their dismay, the Jazz seemed rattled.

And that applied from the top to the bottom of the roster.

It might be understandable, at least to some degree, in the case of Donovan Mitchell, who was treated by the Rockets as though he were the whole Jazz offense. They surrounded him, doubled and tripled him, bumped him, harassed him, causing him to make a mere 21 of 64 shots before Game 4. Mitchell made 11 of 26 on Monday night, going for 31 points.

It was not understandable in the cases of other Jazz shooters, such as Joe Ingles, Jae Crowder, Royce O’Neale and even Kyle Korver. Those guys had not been able to make the shots they’re counted on to make.

They shook that off in Game 4, making runners, jumpers, bombs, squibs, shots of all varieties. Crowder was particularly effective. And the Jazz defense reciprocated, causing the Rockets to fizzle, including James Harden, who made 8 of 19 attempts for 30 points, enabling the attack to sufficiently work at the other end.

As much as lousy shooters like to repeat that defense wins championships, in this series, against Houston, a lack of offense had been losing the day, proving the most basic of basketball rudiments, that you still have to score enough to win.

GORDON MONSON hosts “The Big Show” with Jake Scott weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM The Zone.