Rockets fans are prepared to celebrate a second trip to the Western Conference Finals for the second time in four years.
So much of what the Houston Rockets have become under coach Mike D’Antoni focuses on the volume of 3-pointers taken and the influence their perimeter proficiency has offensively. Chris Paul is familiar with 3-1 leads.
“I don’t know. James was fouling, they was cheating”, Paul said, referencing the 2015 playoffs when Harden’s Rockets beat Paul’s LA Clippers in seven games. “It is what it is. I got that out of my brain”. A real birthday gift.
The collapse that Paul is referring to came at the hands of the Rockets. Utah is coming off a pair of double-digit losses at home in which the Rockets dominated from start to finish for the most part and now trail 3-1 in the series. With both teams now up 3-1 in their respective semi-conference series, that outcome reasonably seems assured.
Despite enjoying a career that will surely land him in the Hall of Fame on the first ballot, Paul has never advanced out of the second round.
Ingles, a 30-year-old who played internationally as a pro for eight years before landing in the National Basketball Association in 2014, drained seven of nine three-point attempts.
While Capela provided the defense, it was Chris Paul that provided the offensive spark for the Rockets.
“When I came on the team, there was still guys talking about it”, Mbah a Moute told USA TODAY Sports. “He said [to security], ‘I didn’t see him say nothing, but I know it was him'”. “Every single night, he has our back”, said Harden, who got in Capela’s face and yelled his approval at the end of the game. If you’re just normal, that wouldn’t work. Game 5 is set for Tuesday at 8:00 pm EST.
Mitchel tried to lead the Jazz to a comeback as he spearheaded a 10-2 run in the fourth quarter, bringing Utah within 5 points, 85-80. But the numbers don’t lie.
Davis committed six turnovers and Rondo four for the Pelicans, while Nikola Mirotic grabbed 11 rebounds but missed six of seven shots for just seven points.
Alec Burks added 14 points off the bench while Rudy Gobert contributed another 12. He also put up 12 rebounds and six assists. Capela was all over the place in game 4 and finished with 6 blocks to go along with his 15 rebounds. The Jazz didn’t have Ricky Rubio and they now lost Exum. The 23-year-old hasn’t received much love for any National Basketball Association honors, but he’s playing like an All-Star against the Jazz right now.
A short time later, C.J. had returned to his seat after meeting with security, and he remained there for the rest of the game. In Game 4, he hit nine.
Now it’s Dante Exum, the reserve guard quickly hobbled off the court in the third quarter with what was diagnosed as left hamstring soreness. Donovan Mitchell missed a couple of wide-open shots at the rim, including a dunk and was blocked on a few more, while Joe Ingles missed a wide-open layup as did Jae Crowder, who had a tough night in going 1 of 11 from the field.