Sunday featured a lot more of the same for the two Western Conference semifinals. The Warriors dominated the Pelicans from the get-go and took a commanding 3-1 lead. Kevin Durant was incredible with 38 points and led Golden State to within one game of yet another trip to the conference finals.
The Rockets, on the other hand, had to deal with a pesky Jazz team. They managed to pull away late, but Houston needed Clint Capela to swat anything that got near the rim and Chris Paul to take over. Capela and Paul came up big to stretch the series lead to 3-1 heading back to Houston.
NBA playoff schedule for Sunday, May 6
- Game 4: Golden State Warriors 118, New Orleans Pelicans 92
- Game 4: Houston Rockets 100, Utah Jazz 87
Game 4: Warriors vs. Pelicans
The Warriors came back in a big way for Game 4. They responded to their Game 3 loss with a complete and total blowout of the Pelicans. Everybody knew they meant business early on when they rolled out their "Hamptons Five" starting lineup. A group that has never started a game together before.
Lineups turned into the scorer’s table: Warriors starting Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green together for the first time ever.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) May 6, 2018
The Warriors ripped off an early lead, but the Pelicans fought back to keep it single digits at the end of the half. Sometimes, that's all a team needs to do. Keep it close and hope the ball bounces their way at the end. Kevin Durant didn't let that happen. He had a phenomenal game and finished with 38 points.
Where did everything fall in place for Golden State? The same place it always does. The Warriors win games by dominating the third quarter and Game 4 was no different for them. They blew the game wide open in the third behind the incredible shooting of Durant. If the Pelicans were going to hang around then they had to hang around in the third. They didn't.
The Warriors were +371 in the 3rd quarter this season, best in the NBA. They were +14 in the 3rd tonight, their best this postseason.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 6, 2018
It was just that kind of day for Golden State. The Warriors now hold a commanding 3-1 lead back home for Game 5. The Pelicans will have their work cut out for them from here.
Game 4: Rockets vs. Jazz
The Jazz were without Ricky Rubio once again and he might have been the difference maker in a game that was closer than the final score would indicate. The Rockets extended double-digit leads on multiple occasions, but each time the Jazz would answer back with a run. Whether it came from Royce O'Neale ...
Or, Rookie of The Year candidate Donovan Mitchell ...
The Jazz guard bounced back from a rough Game 3 with an incredible performance. Dante Exum, however, had a major impact early on, especially on the defensive end, but exited the game with a hamstring injury in the second half and did not return.
Dante Exum (left hamstring soreness) will not return.— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) May 7, 2018
One of the best battles of the night came down low between Rudy Gobert and Clint Capela. The two big men went at it all night long. Gobert had a great putback dunk that got the entirety of Utah off its feet.
Capela had the last laugh, though. He erupted on the defensive end and started swatting anything within distance of him and the rim. The Jazz could have closed the gap yet again, but Gobert made sure that wouldn't happen.
The real hero of the game though was Chris Paul. After so many second round failures he's now one win away from reaching the conference finals. He finished Game 4 with 27 points, six assists, and 12 rebounds.