Chris Paul is Headed to his 1st Conference Finals

Florence Lopez
May 11, 2018

The Rockets, now that's a different story. On Tuesday night, the Rockets took care of business on their own floor and finished off the Jazz in Game 5 by a final of 112-102.

"I think Coach did a great job though of just giving him a little bit here and there and tonight really just letting him go", Kevin Durant said. "[To have] an opportunity for him that he's never had before". Well let's get right into it. "Even in the beginning of the year when I got here, it was just thinking a lot, trying to be flawless, trying to make the right play rather than just being aggressive, so I'm continuing to watch film, working out with the coaches and finding myself again slowly".

Paul's final stat line reads like a Curry game for the ages: 13-of-22 shooting, 8-of-10 3-point shooting, 7-of-8 foul shooting, seven rebounds, 10 assists, no turnovers and plus-20 in point differential. The Rockets have lost just twice in their last 27 games at the Toyota Center though one of those came in Game 2 against the Jazz.

The Rockets, who are set to start their Western Conference finals in the regular round, began over the Jazz in the first half with a 54-46 win. The point guard, who is in his 13th National Basketball Association season, has been panned for failing to get past the second round in his nine previous trips to the playoffs. The Rockets are capable of shooting much better from the field and Harden can be much more consistent. "They're either going to have to slow it down, abandon the isolation, abandon something that they typically do all the time because that's just the nature of winning a championship". "It's about the process".

Kerr was asked if he felt that the Houston Rockets' lack of recent championship success might give them more of an edge in the series.

"Unhappy with the results, but happy with everybody as a whole", Mitchell said.

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Paul had been in the conference semifinals four other times before finally getting over the hump this season. Golden State has struggled at times to score off the dribble this postseason averaging only 0.72 points per Pick & Roll Ball Handler possession and 0.79 points per Isolation possession, down from the 0.96 and 0.95 points per possession they scored during the regular season respectively. Tuesday night, Paul wasn't a throwback point guard.

The Jazz were without Ricky Rubio and Dante Exum because of hamstring injuries. The Warriors have gone to five games in both of their series.

Rockets general manager Daryl Morey addressed that need by adding P.J. Tucker and Luc Richard Mbah a Moute in free agency.

Mitchell took over the third quarter and willed the Jazz back into contention.

It's obvious after his 41 points, 10 assist game to close out Utah. Houston won the first game of the season, on October 17, 122-121. Mitchell remained in a crouch on the other end, pointing to the back of his left leg. He had to be helped to the bench and was quickly taken to the locker room with the help of two people.

Now Paul and his Houston teammates, including James Harden, who scored 18 points in Tuesday's victory, will next face the Warriors, who beat the New Orleans Pelicans 113-104 to also win their series in five games.

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