Paul sparks Rockets to road win, 3-1 series lead over Jazz

May 6, 2018, 9:05 PM | Updated: Aug 4, 2022, 8:34 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Chris Paul was too much for the Utah Jazz, scoring 27 points and grabbing 12 rebounds on his 33rd birthday to lead the Houston Rockets to a 100-87 victory Sunday night.

It was the first double-double of the postseason for Paul, whose Rockets took a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with the win and can close out the Jazz on Tuesday in Houston.

“We’re not satisfied just being up 3-1,” Rockets guard James Harden said. “(From the) start of training camp, the beginning of the regular season and this entire regular season, we didn’t come this far just to be up 3-1 in the semifinals. We’ve got a long way to go. (This is) a good road win for us though.”

Harden scored 24 points and had four of Houston’s 11 steals in the game, and Clint Capela added 12 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks for the Rockets, who won an NBA-best 65 games during the regular season. Five of Capela’s six blocks came in the final three minutes of the game.

Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell bounced back from a poor shooting night Friday in Game 3 to finish with 25 points. The NBA Rookie of the Year candidate also had nine rebounds and four steals before fouling out in the game’s waning moments.

But the Jazz trailed in the game from start to finish, falling behind 11-3 early. The Rockets led by as many as 19 points in the third quarter before pulling within five points in the game’s final six minutes.

Mitchell said the Jazz haven’t been as “connected” on the court in Games 3 and 4 at Vivint Arena as they were in Game 2 in Houston — a 116-108 Utah victory.

“The last 15, 16 minutes of this game, we saw how connected we can be,” he said. “We moved the ball and played well. … We were just on a different level in Game 2, and I think we’ve just got to get back to that.”

Joe Ingles added 15 points and eight rebounds, and Rudy Gobert finished with 11 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots — including a pair of blocks on the Rockets’ opening possession.

Raul Neto chipped in with nine points, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers in the second half to keep the Jazz in contention.

Dante Exum gave the Jazz a spark off the bench before leaving the game with an injury, finishing with nine points in just 10 minutes of court time.

Mitchell, who had just 10 points in a lopsided loss in Game 3, again started slowly but scored 13 points in the second quarter.

“I could not be more satisfied with the way he responded from his game the other night,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. “And it’s not like it came easy.”

Mitchell shot 8-for-24 in the game — including 2-of-7 from 3-point range. The rookie has scored 20 or more points in eight of Utah’s postseason games this season.

As a team, Utah shot just 38.6 percent from the floor and made only 7 of 29 3-pointers, or 24.1 percent.

Snyder called Capela’s impact on the series “significant.”

“He makes winning plays,” the Jazz coach said.

Houston’s long-range shooting wasn’t much better, connecting on just 10 of 38 3-point attempts for 26.3 percent.

“We haven’t shot well the whole series,” Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said.

“There’s different ways to win. We’re not strictly a jump-shooting team,” D’Antoni said, citing Paul’s midrange shots, Harden’s drives to the basket and Capela’s play in the post. “We’ve got a lot of other stuff we can go to.”

Utah again was without starting point guard Ricky Rubio, who continues to battle a left hamstring injury.

Prior to Sunday’s game, Snyder said Rubio is “closer than he has been” to being ready to play this series, “just not able to do it and be effective.”

“I think it’s hard for him right now. I know how bad he wants to play. … He’s just not there,” the Jazz coach said.

That puts additional pressure on Mitchell, Snyder said, as the rookie is having to shift to point guard in Rubio’s absence.

“What Donovan is trying to do right now is he’s a rookie that’s led us in scoring and has been our primary offensive option all year,” Snyder said. “Now he’s being asked to play point guard against the best team in the league.”

Today’s Top Stories


NBA Ice Buckets...
Devin Oldroyd

NBA fans invited to show “ice in their veins” at NBA Ice Buckets challenge

The NBA and Utah Jazz invite you to play NBA Ice Buckets, a free-to-play indoor basketball shooting challenge at Trolley Square.
1 day ago
For the first time in history, a woman has taken to the field as a referee during World Cup soccer....
Associated Press

Stéphanie Frappart makes history as 1st female World Cup ref

Frappart also had two women as assistants. Neuza Back of Brazil and Karen Diaz Medina of Mexico complete an all-female refereeing team on the field.
2 days ago
A US Soccer spokesperson told CNN in an email that Pulisic, who collided with the Iranian goalkeepe...
Kevin Dotson and Matias Grez, CNN

Christian Pulisic is day-to-day after being taken to hospital with pelvic contusion suffered scoring winning goal for US

A US Soccer spokesperson told CNN in an email that Pulisic, who collided with the Iranian goalkeeper after scoring his goal, went for medical scans but "was not hospitalized."
3 days ago
The USA has beaten Iran at the World Cup and advances into the Knockout Round....
Matias Grez

USMNT advances to World Cup knockout stage with victory over Iran

Christian Pulisic's first-half goal was all that separated the two sides as the USMNT reached the round of 16 for the first time since 2014.
4 days ago
DOHA, QATAR - NOVEMBER 25: A giant flag of IR Iran on the pitch prior to the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2...

US-Iran match reflects a regional rivalry for many Arab fans

The U.S. team’s must-win World Cup match against Iran will be closely watched across the Middle East, where the two nations have been engaged in a cold war for over four decades and where many blame one or both for the region’s woes.
4 days ago
Team USA gymnasts cheer from stands, four utah kids competed in international gymnastics competitio...
Britt Johnson

Utah well-represented during international gymnastics competition

A gymnastics competition last week saw four kids from Utah competing against international gymnasts. One parent says preparation went beyond training.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Paul sparks Rockets to road win, 3-1 series lead over Jazz