Rockets aim to close out series vs. Jazz

  • Rockets aim to close out series vs. Jazz

Rockets aim to close out series vs. Jazz

Paul carried an unwieldy scarlet letter of an National Basketball Association record with him into the Toyota Center on Tuesday: 86 consecutive postseason games without a conference finals appearance.

Game 4 featured Kevin Durant's highest usage rate (36.8%) as a Warrior in the playoffs, including last year's championship run in which he was named Finals MVP.

This will be the first Western Conference Final round for Paul. He went 8-of-10 from 3-point range in Game 5, including a clutch bank shot in the fourth.

For the Jazz, they're hoping that they can recreate the success they had in Game 2 when they led by as many as 19 points early, and held on for a 116-108 win. He's missed the entire series with a strained left hamstring, but was listed as questionable before Sunday's game and could be well enough to play on Tuesday.

A similar injury will keep the Jazz's starting point guard Ricky Rubio out of the potentially season-ending game.

Anthony Davis scored 34 points and grabbed 19 rebounds for the Pelicans but 14 turnovers and a 19-point third quarter derailed New Orleans' late comeback. The Rockets outscored the Jazz by 20 points during Paul's 38 minutes on the court. Joe Ingles is posting 15.8 points on 46 percent shooting from the field, but it hasn't been sufficient for then to take the lead as Utah lacks key playmakers.

The injury occurred after Mitchell collided with James Harden midway through the fourth quarter. He was excellent for Houston throughout this series, scoring in double-figures in three of the five games.

"He's been under a lot of unfair scrutiny throughout the playoffs and tonight he showed that he wanted it", Utah star rookie Donovan Mitchell, who is close with Paul, said. Mitchell also confirmed his frustration stemmed from officials granting foul calls to Harden, but said he's moved on.

The Jazz later said Mitchell exited with left foot soreness.

Perhaps being forced to dig deep into the bench led to Utah missing 22 shots at the rim in Game 4, or maybe it was the influence of the Houston defense.

D'Antoni turned 67 on Tuesday and said this game was the best present he's ever received. "I know if we give the effort that we know we can it's pretty tough to beat us". "We are still taking steps toward that, but this is an accomplishment".

"Without a doubt", he said.