NBA playoff scores, highlights, news, schedule as Jazz and Rockets pick up big Game 4 wins

Monday's NBA playoff slate was a bit light with only two games on the docket. 

In the first game of the doubleheader, the Rockets crushed the Timberwolves by 19 points to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round series. It was a tough start for both James Harden and the Rockets, as Harden missed his first seven shots and his team led by just one after halftime. But in the third quarter they took over, dropping 50 points in the frame to become only the second team in NBA postseason history to ever score 50-plus points in a quarter. Harden finished with 36, Paul added 25 and the Rockets hit 16 3s. 

In the second game, the Jazz used a big second half to take care of the Thunder by a score of 113-96 and take a 3-1 lead in their series. It was an extremely physical affair, with multiple technicals on each side and even an ejection after Jae Crowder accidentally elbowed Steven Adams in the face. Donovan Mitchell led the way for the Jazz with 33 points, and every member of the team's starting lineup had at least 13 points. The Thunder got poor shooting nights from Carmelo Anthony and Russell Westbrook, who combined to shoot just 12 of 36 from the field. 

NBA playoff scores for Monday, April 23

Game 4: Rockets 119, Timberwolves 100

James Harden got off to a tough start on Monday, missing his first seven shots from the field. But after that he turned into a flamethrower, going 12 of 19 the rest of the way, finishing with 36 points. In the third quarter, in particular, he was spectacular, putting up 22 points as the Rockets outscored the Wolves 50-20 to take control of the game. In doing so, they became just the second team to score 50-plus points in a quarter in playoff history. 

Chris Paul also played well, going for 25 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals in the win. As a team, the Rockets finally shot well from the outside, hitting 16 of their 43 3-point attempts. 

The series will now shift back to Houston for Game 5, where the Rockets should be heavy favorites to close it out. 

Game 4: Jazz 113, Thunder 96

The first half of Game 4 was extremely physical with a few near altercations, 22 fouls and four technicals. It was closely contested, though, with the Jazz leading by six at the break. 

The second half, on the other hand, was not. Utah jumped out to a double-digit lead early in the third quarter and cruised the rest of the way. There were some additional scuffles, and Jae Crowder was even ejected for elbowing Steven Adams, but that looked accidental. 

Donovan MItchell was fantastic in the game, finishing with 33 points on 13 of 28 shooting, seven rebounds and four assists.

Every member of the Jazz starting lineup scored at least 13 points, as they got a true team effort in the win. 

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