The Utah Jazz season ended at the hands of the superior Houston Rockets Tuesday night, falling 112-102 in Houston. The Jazz lost for the second consecutive season in the Western Conference Semifinals, both times against the team with the league’s best regular season record.
As the Jazz had for most of the series, they battled the Rockets tough through most of the games four quarters, but eventually the Hall of Fame talent won out over the Jazz up and coming roster. Chris Paul led the Rockets with a stellar performance, finishing with 41 points, 10 assists, 7 rebounds, and 0 turnovers in 38 minutes. Paul scored 20 fourth quarter points for the Rockets, as the superstar guard embarks on his first conference finals appearance.
Donovan Mitchell nearly carried the Jazz to a game five victory, tying his own franchise record for points in an individual playoff quarter, when he scored 22 in a critical third period, giving the Jazz the lead heading into the fourth. But midway through the fourth quarter, Mitchell appeared to suffer a foot injury that would sideline him for the rest of the game. Mitchell finished the game with 24 points and 9 assists.
PJ Tucker out-dueled Jae Crowder in a battle of stretch big men in game five, as Tucker finished the evening with 19 points on 7-9 shooting, including 5-7 from three. Crowder finished the night 2-11 from the floor, including 1-5 from three as his up and down playoffs continued on consecutive low notes.
The Jazz now enter the offseason with a momentum the team hasn’t felt in years, with a superstar in Mitchell coming off a stellar rookie season, and a potential Defensive Player of the Year winner in Rudy Gobert.
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