Rockets clamp down on Jazz for 3-1 series lead

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The hills that surround this city are a sight to behold.

Paul is normally reticent to discuss his past playoff failures, but the nine-time All-Star was candid about that particular letdown when he was interviewed on TNT moments after Houston took a 3-1 lead over the Utah Jazz with a 100-87 win in Game 5. If Houston doesn't shoot well, they often fall asleep on defense and lack energy. Houston has seen the under go 4-1 in their last five conference semifinals games, 4-1 in their last five against teams with a winning record and 11-3 in their last 14 home games against teams with a losing road record. "It is what it is". You know what I mean? A good birthday gift.

The collapse that Paul is referring to came at the hands of the Rockets. Stephen Curry scored 23, Klay Thompson added 13 and Quinn Cook, who was a Pelicans reserve earlier this season, contributed 12 points.

This stretch of dominance included a 30-point halftime lead in Game 3 and resulted in the Rockets heading back home with a 3-1 series lead and once again looking like the best team in the National Basketball Association.

While Paul is surely destined for the Hall of Fame someday, his inability to reach the conference finals remains a major blemish on his resume.

Down two point guards and struggling mighty from behind the arc - the Jazz were just seven for 29 from deep - Utah managed to hang around as the game got chippy and the crowd got into it in the fourth. "It was still very vivid, for everybody".

With MVP favourite James Harden as his running mate in the backcourt, he has a superstar teammate he can rely on to help him get over the hump. You're so close to getting to the conference finals, and you just don't do what you're supposed to do.

In a series that features Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rudy Gobert, it's been Capela who has arguably had the greatest impact defending his team's basket.




The Rockets are now back in Houston looking ahead to close out the series. It appears Utah Jazz rookie sensation Donovan Mitchell is fed up with it, too. Then there's Derrick Favors, who continues to battle through a sprained ankle, and played just 16 minutes on Sunday. But the numbers don't lie. He's now averaging 15 points, 11 rebounds, three blocks and over one steal in the series. He also put up 12 rebounds and six assists. Mitchell, Joe Ingles, and Crowder combined to go just 5-of-21 from downtown in Game 4, which obviously won't cut it.

While Ricky Rubio was only listed as "questionable" a day prior to tip-off, preliminary tests before the game gave him a red light and he was ruled out of the Jazz rotation on the night.

This team didn't just win Games 3 and 4 in Utah, they absolutely dominated them.

The Warriors continued to pull away and led 94-71 after Iguodala hit Golden State's ninth three-pointer of the game late in the period.

The Rockets started the second quarter on an 8-0 run, their lead ballooning to 15 after a attractive Luc Mbah A Moute left-handed layup through the foul and ensuing free throw.

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.

Anthony Davis had 26 points and 12 rebounds for New Orleans, but the Pelicans hit only 36 percent (32 of 88) of their shots, missing 22 of 26 three-point attempts.

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