Houston routs Utah 100-87, take 3-1 lead in series

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Meanwhile, rookie Donovan Mitchell had his weakest game of the postseason with only 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting.

In the second quarter Rockets forward PJ Tucker was called for a flagrant foul when he struck Ingles in the face to prevent him from taking a three point shot. Eric Gordon, who had a big game in Game 3, struggled again, shooting three of 10 from the floor and finishing with nine points.

Donovan Mitchell scored 25 before fouling out and Joe Ingles had 15 for the Jazz. But it took Mitchell 24 shots to get there in a night where he has nearly as many fouls (six) as field goal makes (eight).

Starting center Clint Capela also had a double-double of 12 points and 15 rebounds with six shot blocks, two assists, and two steals. Rajon Rondo finished with 11 rebounds, but the Pelicans also committed 19 turnovers, which led to 21 Warriors points.

Houston stole the Game 1 with simplicity 110-96 between seven three-pointers and 41 points from star James Harden.

Just in case anyone wondered about Paul's view on 3-1 leads, he offered quite the reminder to TNT's Kristen Ledlow in his postgame interview.

The Jazz will try to keep their season alive Tuesday night at the Toyota Center when they take on the Rockets in a 6 p.m. (MT) game. Houston leads this series 3-1.

But then the Rockets team we saw throughout the 2017-18 regular season showed up, and at times they looked even better than we've seen. Utah will likely have to win Game 4 at home to have any shot of keeping Houston out of the Western Conference Finals.

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The Rockets can extinguish the Jazz with a win on Tuesday when the series moves back to Houston. It always felt like the Rockets were far closer to blowing the game open than it did the Jazz were truly getting back in it. And when Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals vs. Houston ended and the Jazz players exited through the tunnel, not much cheering could be heard.

"I thought our defence was superb and we were hitting shots all over the place", Jazz coach Mike D'Antoni said.

The point guard has never been to the conference finals in his 13-year National Basketball Association career but he finally looks set to end that.

And even with a preponderance of evidence undergirding their dramatic improvement defensively, the Rockets' reputation remains cleaved to 3s and offensive efficiency, so much so that following the defensive clinic they orchestrated in Game 4 on Sunday in Salt Lake City, some Rockets were first greeted with queries on how many 3s they missed in their 100-87 win. In Game 4, he hit nine. The Jazz didn't have Ricky Rubio and they now lost Exum.

"I get mad at the other teams when they throw our players down on the floor", Lane said.

Just last season, either the Houston Rockets would have an huge lead or they'd get blown out with very few in-between scenarios.

Exum didn't get back into the game until midway through the third quarter, but this time he only lasted a little over a minute before coming down wrong on his leg while running the baseline.

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