Photo by Chris Nicoll/USA Today

Paul's Big Night Lifts Rockets To Game Four Win

Chris Paul scored 27 points as the Rockets take a 3-1 series lead

May 07, 2018 - 2:37 am

Chris Paul is one win away from his first appearance in the Western Conference Finals after the Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 100-87 in game four of the Western Conference Semifinals Sunday night in Salt Lake City.

On his 33rd birthday, Paul led all scorers with 27 points on 12-of-23 shooting, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out six assists as the Rockets took a 3-1 series lead, winning both games in Utah by double-digits.

The Rockets never trailed in the game as Paul got the scoring started with a 17-foot jumper a minute into the game, giving Hosuton the lead for the final 47 minutes of the game. It took the Jazz close to 4 minutes before making their first field goal as Houston led by as many as eight in a first quarter that ended with it leading 30-23. 

Houston scored the first eight points of the second quarter to push the lead to 15, but Donovan Mitchell's layup with 1:06 before halftime closed the Utah deficit to five. The lead went back to double-digits after a James Harden layup and a Paul 3-point play.

After halftime, the Rockets grew the lead and with 3 minutes left, Paul's jumper made it a 19-point game, but the Jazz battled in the fourth quarter, and with 5:58 to play pulled to within five when Mitchell made a pair of free throws only to see the lead double thanks to a Clint Capela tip-in and Trevor Ariza 3-pointer. Utah never got closer than eight the rest of the way.

Harden scored 24 points, while Capela gave Houston 12 points, 15 rebounds, and six blocks.

Houston shot just 42 percent from the field, connecting on only 10-of-38 shots from behind the 3-point line.

Mitchell's 25 points led the Jazz, but they only made 38.6 percent of their shots, knocking down 7-of-29 three-pointers.

The Rockets will try and close out the series Tuesday night at Toyota Center.