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‘Rockets’ Tagged Posts

Rockets beat Jazz for West Convention finals berth

Video by CBS Sports activitiesHOUSTON (AP) -- Chris Paul did not wish to discuss his pos...

 

Video by CBS Sports activities

HOUSTON (AP) — Chris Paul did not wish to discuss his postseason failures, not after Houston’s win Tuesday over Utah lastly obtained him into the Western Convention finals.

“For us it was simply … they have been in the best way,” Paul mentioned. “So we have been simply attempting to get one other win.”

His Rockets teammates noticed it slightly in a different way. They have been keen to speak about Paul’s dominant efficiency, together with a playoff career-high 41 factors, in a 112-102 victory in Sport 5 that eradicated the Jazz.

BOX SCORE: ROCKETS 112, JAZZ 102

“He went on the market and took over the sport,” James Harden mentioned. “(To have) a possibility for him that he is by no means had earlier than. He went to go get it. He put us all on his again and mentioned pay attention: `I obtained us.'”

Paul made eight Three-pointers and had 10 assists and 7 rebounds and not using a turnover. He is the primary participant in playoff historical past to have not less than 40 factors and 10 assists and not using a turnover since turnovers grew to become an official statistic in 1977-78, in response to the Elias Sports activities Bureau.

“The efficiency that Chris put on the market — if he did not make it out this time, one thing’s fallacious,” coach Mike D’Antoni mentioned.

It is going to be Houston’s second journey to the Western Convention finals in 4 years and the primary ever for Paul. The purpose guard, who’s in his 13th NBA season, has been panned for failing to get previous the second spherical in his 9 earlier journeys to the playoffs.

Whereas he would not discuss lastly getting over the second-round hump, he had no drawback discussing how a lot he is having fun with this season.

“It is simply enjoyable,” he mentioned. “It is not concerning the factors or something like that. It is concerning the course of.”

Houston will meet Golden State within the convention finals starting Monday night time at residence.

Paul is a nine-time All-Star in his first season with Houston after an offseason commerce from the Los Angeles Clippers. His earlier career-best within the playoffs was 35 factors, which he achieved 3 times.

Star rookie Donovan Mitchell had 22 of his 24 factors for Utah within the third quarter earlier than leaving with about seven minutes left with an obvious left leg damage. The workforce did not present an replace on his situation after the sport, however he was sporting a strolling boot on his left foot.

“Sad with the outcomes, however pleased with everyone as an entire,” Mitchell mentioned.

Houston returns to the convention finals for the primary time since 2015. It is the second straight season the Jazz misplaced on this spherical after being swept by Golden State final season.

The highest-seeded Rockets led by eight factors after a Three-pointer by Paul with about six minutes left. The Jazz scored the following seven factors, highlighted by a Three-pointer from Royce O’Neale, earlier than Paul made eight fast factors to push Houston’s result in 105-96 with about three minutes left.

Joe Ingles made a basket for Utah earlier than Paul added one other basket to make it 107-98. The group started chanting “CP3” repeatedly as Paul dribbled down the court docket on the following possession.

The Jazz have been with out Ricky Rubio and Dante Exum due to hamstring accidents. Rubio has missed the complete sequence along with his damage, and Exum was injured within the third quarter of Sport 5.

P.J. Tucker scored a playoff career-best 19 factors, and Harden added 18 factors on an evening he was “beneath the climate,” in response to D’Antoni.

Mitchell’s big third quarter left the Jazz up by Three to start the fourth. Derrick Favors made a layup for Utah to begin the ultimate quarter earlier than Paul and Tucker hit consecutive Three-pointers to place Houston again on prime 81-80 with about 10 minutes left.

Utah regained the lead on a basket by O’Neale earlier than Houston used an 11-5 spurt, with the primary 5 factors from Gerald Inexperienced, to take a 92-87 lead with about seven minutes left. Harden capped the run with a dunk after stealing the ball from Mitchell. Mitchell was injured on that play and grabbed his left leg. He needed to be helped to the bench and was shortly taken to the locker room with the assistance of two folks.

TIP-INS

Jazz: Alec Burks scored 22 factors off the bench. … Rudy Gobert completed with 12 factors, 9 rebounds and 5 blocks. … Mitchell completed 9 of 17 on subject targets. … O’Neale had 17 factors.

Rockets: Houston made 18 Three-pointers to offer the workforce 10 or extra Three-pointers in an NBA playoff-record 16 straight video games. … Clint Capela completed with 5 blocks. … The Rockets had 10 steals on Tuesday for his or her fourth sport within the sequence with 10 or extra.

THEY SAID IT

Mitchell on what coach Quin Snyder’s message was to the workforce after the loss: “I used to be so upset I wasn’t listening. I am not going to deceive you.”

WHAT A PRESENT

D’Antoni turned 67 on Tuesday and mentioned this sport was the most effective current he is ever acquired.

“Surely,” he mentioned. “Particularly at this age.”

UP NEXT

Houston will host the primary two video games of the convention finals towards Golden State or New Orleans.

—-

Extra AP basketball: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball

Associated slideshow: 2018 NBA playoffs (Supplied by picture providers) 

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 08:  Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors goes up for a shot on Anthony Davis #23 of the New Orleans Pelicans during Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena on May 8, 2018 in Oakland, California.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images) 2018 NBA playoffs

NBA playoffs: Rockets’ smothering protection causes Jazz implosion in Recreation Three, however Utah is not accomplished but

 

SALT LAKE CITY — In Recreation 2 in Houston, the less-heralded, less-talented Utah Jazz did all the pieces proper as a way to flip what loads of basketball observers anticipated to be a Houston Rockets sequence rout right into a second-round sequence that abruptly appeared tantalizing. The Jazz jumped out of the gate in Recreation 2 with excessive vitality, taking a 10-point lead partway by means of the primary quarter. They discovered a participant apart from Donovan Mitchell to run the offense by means of in Joe Ingles, who went off for a career-high 27 factors on an array of open 3s, off-the-dribble 3s, and step-back jumpers. They beat the Rockets by basically being the Rockets, scoring with excessive effectivity on the rim and from Three, the place the Jazz went a blistering 15-of-32, whereas eschewing practically all mid-range photographs. It actually helped that Dante Exum performed lockdown protection on James Harden, and that the Rockets could not purchase a bucket.

In Recreation Three on Friday evening in Utah, in entrance of a sold-out house crowd that turned Vivint Good House Area into what felt like a raucous school health club at tipoff, the Jazz had an opportunity to show this sequence on its head. They’d an opportunity to place the NBA’s finest common season crew on discover that what wins video games in February would not all the time win video games in Could. They’d a first-rate alternative to point out the Rockets well-knit crew based mostly on a suffocating protection and a sharing offense may kill the playoff desires of one of many NBA’s finest offenses of all time.

And in each possible means, the Jazz got here out and did all the pieces unsuitable.

The 113-92 shellacking wasn’t a Rockets explosion a lot as a Jazz implosion. Houston has a means of scoring a ton of baskets in a rush and pummeling groups into submission from past the Three-point line. This was not that. Certain, Eric Gordon had a helluva sport for the Rockets — 25 factors on 13 photographs — however Houston solely shot 11-of-36 from Three. The Rockets gained regardless of avoiding the first idea Mike D’Antoni’s offense: No mid-range photographs. Almost a 3rd of the Rockets’ photographs on Friday evening have been mid-rangers.

However the Jazz? UGH. Nothing went proper. Bear in mind once they got here out weapons blazing within the first quarter of Recreation 2? Nicely, they have been firing blanks within the first quarter of Recreation Three. Ninety seconds into the sport, after the Rockets hit two transition 3s, Jazz head coach Quin Snyder referred to as a timeout. He sensed one thing was going unsuitable. And fewer than 9 minutes into the sport, the Jazz have been down 20. Within the first quarter, the Rockets made 16 photographs and had zero turnovers; the Jazz made eight photographs and had six turnovers. Coming off the best efficiency of his profession, Ingles turned in a 2-of-10 stinker, with 5 turnovers and seemingly zero confidence at driving into the tooth of the Rockets’ protection. Mitchell had one in all his worst video games as a professional; he pressured up far too many ugly, contested photographs, together with a first-quarter airball within the face of smothering James Harden protection (sure, you learn that proper: “smothering James Harden protection,” which was a recurring theme all sport).

“The photographs I missed have been horrible photographs — they weren’t beauty — and I can not do this,” Mitchell flogged himself afterward. “I’d have been higher off simply not displaying up, and that is what I did — I did not present up.”

Mitchell completed Four-of-16 for 10 factors, however he was truly bit worse than that stat line signifies. This sport was over by halftime, with the Rockets up 30 — and at halftime, Mitchell had precisely two factors, and had made 1-of-10 photographs.

“We simply adjusted our perspective, vitality and spirit and did it,” D’Antoni mentioned. “Our protection was very good. After which we have been hitting photographs — stored the gang out of it, stored them on their heels. You might simply see the fellows feeding off of excellent protection after good protection.”

This wasn’t the Jazz channeling John Coltrane or Miles Davis or Louis Armstrong on the market. This was the Jazz channeling Kenny G — and placing on a bumbling Kenny G efficiency at that.

It was the Rockets who actually pressured that dud of a efficiency from the Jazz: Clint Capela blocking 4 photographs, and Trevor Ariza taking part in dynamic perimeter protection that resulted in him being plus-40 in 27 minutes.

“They did what they’ll do,” Snyder mentioned afterward. “For us the margin for error isn’t that nice. They have been targeted and decided to do what they wished to do, and we did not present sufficient resistance.”

It may be tempting to take a look at a blowout like this as a momentum-shifter that may ship a whole sequence towards an early finish. Maybe it’s — although I can not think about the Jazz popping out so listless earlier than a house crowd as soon as once more in Recreation Four. Pretty much as good because the Rockets regarded, and as terrible because the Jazz regarded, this was not a “put-a-fork-in-them” second for the Jazz. All it’s a must to do is look again to Recreation 2 to see what this Jazz crew is able to.

However on Friday evening the Rockets additionally reminded us what they’re able to: A crew that actually can rating buckets in bunches, however even once they’re not completely zeroed in on their offensive sport — like in Recreation Three — they’ll nonetheless play some surprisingly dominant protection. For as a lot as this Rockets crew is understood for its offense — for as a lot of an web meme “James Harden protection” has develop into — the Rockets truly had the fifth-best defensive effectivity within the NBA this season. And Harden proved all by means of Recreation Three that when he is dialed in on protection, he can truly be a really optimistic pressure.

Possibly this Rockets momentum carries into Recreation Four. If it does, this sequence is over. I really feel just like the Jazz have yet another counterpunch left in them. But when the Rockets can maintain taking part in energetic crew protection like they only did — nicely, be careful, Golden State, since you’re about to step into one helluva sequence.

NBA playoffs: Timberwolves give followers hope with Recreation Three win over Rockets, however do not count on it to final

 

MINNEAPOLIS — With 5 minutes left in Recreation Three and the house group up practically 20 factors on the NBA’s greatest common season group, Minnesota Timberwolves followers had been out of the blue brimming with confidence.

“WOLVES IN SIX! WOLVES IN SIX!” they chanted.

Spring was within the air in Minnesota. The 20 inches of snow from every week earlier than was melting within the 60-degree reward of a spring day. Joggers lapped lakes, restaurant patios opened up, and radio stations performed on loop the joyful music of this metropolis’s hometown hero to mark two years since Prince’s demise. Hope, as they are saying, was springing everlasting.

So you possibly can forgive the boldness — or the hubris, or maybe the sheer irrationality — of Timberwolves followers to assume that one top-notch efficiency from their Wolves would set this group on the trail to the second spherical. Minneapolis was, in spite of everything, internet hosting its first playoff recreation in 14 years, ending the second-longest playoff drought in NBA historical past. The sport tipped off with the electrifying guitar riff initially of Prince’s “When Doves Cry,” and was adopted by what was by far the Timberwolves’ most intense 48 minutes of those playoffs.

a man standing in front of a crowd © Offered by CBS Interactive Inc.

The Wolves bottled up NBA scoring champ James Harden; sure, he scored a game-high 29 factors, but it surely was not a very environment friendly 29 factors, and Harden didn’t by any measure take over this recreation.

“As a group we’re simply attempting to sluggish him down, throw our bodies at him,” Andrew Wiggins mentioned afterward.

Karl-Anthony Cities continued his playoff-long disappearing act within the first half, however then lastly awoke within the second half, ending with 18 factors and extra importantly 16 rebounds, lastly getting the higher of Rockets middle Clint Capela.

Minnesota unfold the wealth on offense. 5 gamers scored 17 or extra factors, led by Jimmy Butler’s 28. It was Butler’s first first rate recreation of those playoffs; in Recreation 1 he scored 13 factors and in Recreation 2 he scored 11 factors on solely 6 pictures.

“For the final couple days I acquired uninterested in my teammates telling me to be extra aggressive, so I took it on myself to just do that,” Butler mentioned afterward.

Derrick Rose continued to remind us why he was as soon as a league MVP as he scored 17 factors in 21 minutes. Jeff Teague and Wiggins, with 23 and 20 factors respectively, every performed sensible, environment friendly video games. Taj Gibson did all of the little issues that do not present up in a field rating, together with one possession wherein he shut down Harden in one-on-one protection and compelled him into an airball.

Most significantly, the Timberwolves beat the Rockets at their very own recreation. Minnesota acquired sizzling from deep, making 15 of its 27 Three-point makes an attempt (55.6 %). However 3s weren’t fairly falling for the Rockets; Houston made 15 out of 41 Three-point makes an attempt (36.6 %). The Rockets had been serving to continuous on protection, and Minnesota was affected person and sensible sufficient to search out the open man and make the open pictures.

“We made pictures, which is an enormous a part of it,” Timberwolves coach Tom Thibodeau mentioned afterward.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni went a step additional along with his evaluation.

“They hit higher pictures,” D’Antoni shrugged afterward.

And there is the rub.

Throughout the season, no group shot extra Three-pointers than the Rockets did. Houston averaged greater than 42 Three-point makes an attempt per recreation, an NBA report. That led to an offense that was one of the best within the league, and probably the greatest in NBA historical past.

And no group shot fewer Three-pointers than the Timberwolves, averaging 22.5 makes an attempt per recreation. The Rockets’ traditionally good offense exemplifies new-school basketball, whereas the Timberwolves offense is a little bit of a dinosaur — a really proficient, very environment friendly dinosaur, one that also had the NBA’s fourth-most environment friendly offense — however a dinosaur nonetheless.

Houston hasn’t performed a single nice recreation this collection and but nonetheless leads 2-1. Even within the Recreation 2 blowout, the Rockets solely shot 30.eight % from Three (in Recreation 1 they had been even worse, capturing 27 %). The distinction is if you shoot 3s at such a excessive quantity, you can also make up factors in a rush. The Rockets shot 37 3s in Recreation 1 and a mind-boggling 52 3s in Recreation 2. And a Timberwolves group that is counting on making 3s, one thing that may be this group’s largest weak spot, isn’t a sustainable technique to tug off one of many largest first-round upsets in NBA historical past.

“Down the stretch we realized lots,” Thibodeau mentioned. “These had been hard-fought video games, like playoff video games, and we realized from that. We nonetheless have a protracted technique to go defensively, however we’re beginning to see the expansion. That is essential. That is pretty much as good of an offensive group as you are going to see on this league. It requires everybody to be tied collectively. It’s a must to be disciplined. It’s a must to play with nice depth. And we’re beginning to do this.”

The Timberwolves protection, which ranked 25th within the NBA in the course of the common season, was fairly darn good on Saturday evening, because it has been all collection. This gave the group and its followers the boldness to chant once more, because the clock wound right down to the buzzer, “WOLVES IN SIX! WOLVES IN SIX!” Afterward, a Prince music once more got here on the loudspeakers: “I used to be dreaming once I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray,” the Purple One sang.

However in some unspecified time in the future, the dream all the time ends. And it’s a must to assume that the dream of holding this traditionally good Houston offense in test — which the Timberwolves have largely performed this collection, regardless of the Wolves’ defensive struggles in the course of the common season — will quickly finish, too.

“This metropolis deserves to be within the playoffs just a little bit longer,” Butler mentioned afterwards.

And this metropolis might be within the playoffs just a little bit longer. The emphasis, nonetheless, must be on “just a little bit.”

NBA Playoffs 2018: Scores, highlights and evaluation from Wednesday’s Cavaliers, Jazz and Rockets wins

 

Playoff-palooza continued with a trio of Recreation 2s on Wednesday.

Within the first sport, LeBron James completely went off, ending with 46 factors, 12 rebounds and 5 assists. It turned out the Cavs wanted each single a type of factors, as they escaped with a 100-97 victory, regardless of main by 16 within the opening quarter. The Pacers 

After that one, the Jazz went into OKC and stole Recreation 2 from the Thunder to even their collection at 1-1. The Massive Three of OKC struggled, capturing a mixed 19 of 58 from the ground. In the meantime, Ricky Rubio hit 5 3s, Derrick Favors had a monster double-double and Donovan Mitchell led the best way with 28 factors. 

Within the third and remaining sport, the Rockets made simple work of the Timberwolves to take a 2-Zero lead of their collection. The Timberwolves did maintain a five-point lead after the primary quarter, however after that it was all Rockets, as they gained by 20 factors. Chris Paul bounced again from a troublesome efficiency in Recreation 1, ending with a game-high 27 factors. 

NBA playoff scores for Wednesday, April 18

Recreation 2: Cavaliers 100, Pacers 97

The Cavs did find yourself altering their beginning lineup, going with LeBron James, Kevin Love, George Hill, Kyle Korver and J.R. Smith. 

Ty Lue mentioned after Recreation 1 that the Cavs wanted LeBron James to be aggressive and set the tone early. That’s precisely what he did, scoring the Cavs’ first 16 factors in simply 5 minutes. It was the greatest first 5 minutes to any sport in LeBron’s profession. 

He continued the sturdy play all through the sport, ending with 46 factors, 12 rebounds and 5 assists, because the Cavs evened the collection with a 100-97 victory. 

The Pacers battled again from the massive deficit early, and had an opportunity to tie within the closing minute, however Victor Oladipo missed a large open Three-pointer. A giant issue within the sport was Oladipo solely enjoying 28 minutes as a consequence of foul bother. 

Recreation 2: Jazz 102, Thunder 95

Donovan Mitchell was questionable heading into Recreation 2 as a consequence of a foot harm, however the rookie guard did find yourself beginning, which was nice information for the Jazz. Mitchell dropped 28 factors because the Jazz stole one on the highway to even up the collection. Extra impressively, 13 of these factors got here within the fourth quarter to assist the Jazz safe the win. 

It was an exhilarating backwards and forwards sport, however the Thunder simply did not get ok performances from their Massive Three. Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Carmelo Anthony mixed for simply 54 factors on an abysmal 19 of 58 capturing. 

In the meantime, the Jazz position gamers stepped up. Ricky Rubio hit a surprising 5 Three-pointers and completed with 22 factors, 9 assists and 7 rebounds, whereas Derrick Favors posted a monster double-double with 20 factors and 16 rebounds. 

Recreation 2: Rockets 102, Timberwolves 82

The Timberwolves began off effectively in Recreation 2, taking a five-point lead after the primary quarter thanks to chill dunks like this from Andrew Wiggins. Sadly, it was all downhill from there. 

The Rockets outscored the Wolves by 20 factors within the second quarter, and cruised from there. James Harden shot simply 2 of 18 from the sector, however it did not matter, because the Rockets gained, 102-82. 

Chris Paul bounced again from a troublesome Recreation 1 to attain a game-high 27 factors. Gerald Inexperienced additionally had a robust sport off the bench, ending with 21 factors and 11 rebounds. 

Dwell weblog from Wednesday’s motion

James Harden Erupts for 44 Factors as Rockets Beat Jimmy Butler, Timberwolves

 
HOUSTON, TX - APRIL 15: James Harden #13 of the Houston Rockets handles the ball against the Minnesota Timberwolves in Game One of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 15, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE via Getty Images)

Invoice Baptist/Getty Photos

James Harden apparently is not slowing down within the playoffs after an unimaginable common season. 

The Houston Rockets star scored 44, together with 13 within the fourth quarter, to assist the No. 1 seed within the West survive with a 104-101 Recreation 1 win over the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

Andrew Wiggins scored 18 for the Timberwolves of their first playoff recreation in 14 years, but it surely wasn’t sufficient to maintain up with Harden and the Rockets offense.

The Timberwolves refused to go away down the stretch, slicing a seven-point deficit with 90 seconds left down to 3 with the ball. Nevertheless, Jimmy Butler air-balled a deep two (he meant to take a 3 however had his foot on the road), and Houston held on. 

Whereas both sides had key moments, it was Harden who stole the present whereas pulling down pictures from all around the flooring:

He additionally added eight assists and two steals. A private 7-Zero run additionally helped flip a one-point lead within the fourth quarter to an eight-point benefit that ended up deciding the sport.

Maybe most significantly, he was capable of knock down pictures in a recreation the place his teammates could not make something from the surface.

Harden completed 7-of-12 from behind the arc whereas the remainder of the Rockets had been Three-of-25 mixed.

They as an alternative needed to rely on manufacturing inside, and Clint Capela was there to assist from the opening tip. The middle had 20 factors and 10 rebounds within the first half, serving to the favorites get off to a fast begin:

In the meantime, Cities did not discover a lot room to roam with simply three factors by halftime.

The one-sided play within the put up did not imply a lot, nevertheless, because the Wolves remained in hanging distance at 54-47 at intermission. A 9-Zero run after halftime put the Timberwolves in entrance, and Derrick Rose made a big effect off the bench (together with hitting a go-ahead three with three minutes to go within the third quarter) earlier than ending with 16 factors.

Nonetheless, Harden did loads of injury on his personal to assist the house workforce regain the lead going into the fourth quarter:

Minnesota’s protection prevented the Rockets from pulling away, but it surely could not make the most of errors within the last minutes and didn’t get sufficient out of its key gamers.

Jeff Teague virtually earned a triple-double with 15 factors, 9 rebounds and eight assists, however Jimmy Butler (13 factors) and Cities (eight factors) hardly confirmed up within the loss. The defeat additionally represents the 11th straight loss for Minnesota in Houston.

The groups will get a little bit of a break earlier than returning for Recreation 2 on Wednesday on the Toyota Heart. One other loss for the Timberwolves would put them in deep trouble.