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Paul's Monster Night Puts Rockets In Western Conference Finals

Rockets eliminate Jazz behind Chris Paul's 41-point night

May 08, 2018 - 10:46 pm

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- Chris Paul is headed to the conference finals for the first time after scoring 41 points in the Rockets 112-102 game five win over the Utah Jazz Tuesday night at Toyota Center.

In the Rockets 4-1 series win, Paul connected on 13-of-22 shots from the field, 8-of-10 from behind the 3-point line, while added seven rebounds and 10 assists. He scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, needing just nine shots to get it.

With the help of Donovan Mitchell's 22-point third quarter, the Jazz overcame an 11-point deficit and led by three after three quarters, and Derrick Favors started the fourth with a layup to put them up five, but Paul connected from deep, and found P.J. Tucker for a triple to give the Rockets the lead. A Royce O'Neal floater put Utah on top again, though, Gerald Green answered with a three to put the Rockets on top for good, though the final score didn't indicate how close the game actually was.

With 5:48 to play, Paul connected from long distance to put the Rockets up eight, but the Jazz scored seven straight over 74 seconds to pull within one, but Paul knocked down another three. Then, after he made a 19-foot jumper, he threw up a prayer from 28-feet out to make it a nine point game, putting the Jazz away.

Paul did not have a turnover to go with his 41-point, 10-asssit night, becoming the first player in NBA Playoff history to accomplish that.

Tucker was the Rockets second leading scorer with 19-points, on 7-of-9 shooting, while an under the weather James Harden scored 18 points, making just 7-of-22 shots.

The Rockets shot 48 percent from the field, while canning 18 three-pointers.

Mitchell led the Jazz with 24 points, while Alec Burks scored 22 off the bench. 

The Rockets held the Jazz to 33 percent shooting in taking a 21-16 lead after the first quarter, and with 4:36 left before halftime a Harden floater pushed the lead to eight points, but thanks to a Joe Ingles 3-pointer, Rudy Gobert layup, and Alec Burks triple, the Jazz tied the game in less than two minutes. Paul knocked down a pair of free throws to get the lead back, starting an 11-3 run over the final 1:44 of the half, capped by Tucker's 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds left, to give the Rockets a 54-46 lead at the break. Paul's 15 points lead Houston, while Burks paced the Jazz with 12 off the bench.

The Rockets will make the their second appearance in the Western Conference Finals in four years. Game one will be next Monday or Wednesday at Toyota Center against either the Golden State Warriors or New Orleans Pelicans.