Chris Paul scored a playoff career-high 41 points with eight 3-pointers and the Houston Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 112-102 in Game 5 on Tuesday night to advance to the Western Conference finals.
It will be Houston’s second trip to the conference finals in four years and the first ever for Paul. The point guard has been panned for failing to get past the second round in his nine previous trips to the postseason.
Houston will meet the winner of the series between Golden State and New Orleans, which the Warriors lead 3-1.
Star rookie Donovan Mitchell had 24 points for Utah before leaving with about seven minutes left with an apparent left leg injury.
Houston returns to the conference finals for the first time since 2015. It’s the second straight season the Jazz lost in this round after being swept by Golden State last season.
Paul, a nine-time All-Star in his first season with Houston after an offseason trade from the Los Angeles Clippers, also had 10 assists and seven rebounds.
at Golden State 113, New Orleans 104: Stephen Curry had 28 points, Kevin Durant scored 24 and the Golden State Warriors advanced to the Western Conference finals by dismantling Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans 113-104 in Game 5 of Tuesday night.
Klay Thompson added 23 points for the Warriors, who with a 15th straight home playoff win tied Chicago for an NBA record. The Bulls did so from April 27, 1990, to May 21, 1991.
Davis had 34 points and 19 rebounds for a Pelicans team that overcame the loss of DeMarcus Cousins to a season-ending torn Achilles tendon three months ago to make this strong run. The Pelicans shaved the lead to seven points with two minutes left on a basket by Davis before Draymond Green’s turnaround fadeaway moments later.
The Warriors advance to play the top-seeded Houston Rockets in what has long been an anticipated Western Conference finals matchup — with a Finals feel, perhaps — and one Golden State will start on the road Monday night. The teams didn’t meet during the 2017 postseason, but the Warriors won a five-game series in the first round of the 2016 playoffs. Houston eliminated Utah in its Game 5 earlier Tuesday.