Rockets eliminate Jazz, 100-93
3-pointers from Rockets game 5 versus Utah Jazz
The Rockets hosted the Utah Jazz in game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals Wednesday night at the Toyota Center in downtown Houston. Looking to stave off elimination, Utah came strong out of the gate with their patented brand of tough defense. The game would come down to the wire late, but it was a few clutch defensive plays from Chris Paul and James Harden late in the fourth quarter that would ultimately eliminate the Jazz en route to a Western Conference Semifinals berth.
Doing what the Jazz do best
The Jazz made a name for themselves as one of the premiere defensive teams in league throughout the 2019 season. In game four they proved just that, and harassed the Rockets all the way to a 107-91 victory. Determined to avoid a repeat, the Rockets took a page out of their opponent's playbook and clamped down on the defensive end. Houston stifled the Jazz at the arc, as Utah went 9-38 from 3-point range. Both teams remained equal from the turnover perspective, but it was late in the game when the Rockets made key steals to ice the game and finish 8 to 12 in the category overall--when it mattered.
Healthy enough down low
Game four saw one of the worst statistical outputs of Clint Capela's 2019 campaign. It was only after Capela's 4 point, 7 rebound performance that we learned that the Rockets starting center was simultaneously battling two separate upper respiratory infections. Having been given time to rest, Capela emerged in game five as a true difference maker. The big man finished Wednesday night with a more noticeable stat line of 16 points, 10 rebounds, and 3 blocks.
Big names, big games
Both Chris Paul and James Harden had terrific games in game four, yet it wasn't enough to carry a team that provided practically any support. Wednesday night was a different story, and with a healthy Capela and a bench able to contribute, Harden and Paul each exploded to put the Jazz away for good. Harden and Paul combined for 41 points, 11 assists, 14 rebounds, 6 steals, and 4 blocks. You can't ask too much more from your stars.
Rockets player of the game
James Harden: 26 points, 6 assists, 6 rebounds, 3 steals, 4 blocks
Jazz player of the game
Ricky Rubio: 17 points, 11 assists, 2 rebounds, 3 steals