The NBA playoffs continued in the West with two Game 5s. First, the Rockets took care of business to eliminate the Jazz and advance to the Western Conference finals. At multiple points in the first half, the Rockets looked capable of pulling away, but the Jazz kept within striking distance. Eventually, that effort paid off for the Jazz as they battled back from a double-digit deficit in the third quarter to take the lead, thanks to by Donovan Mitchell.
Yet in the fourth the Rockets pulled away, with Chris Paul leading the charge. He dropped 41 points (a playoff career-high), 10 assists and seven rebounds to push the Rockets past the finish line. They'll now take on the Warriors in a Western Conference finals the majority of NBA fans were hoping to see.
As for the second game of the night, it was another blowout win for the Warriors. After crushing the Pelicans in Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead, the Warriors once again appeared to be cruising to victory in Game 5. The first half of the game was pretty fun, and closely contested, with the Warriors leading by just three at the break. But by the end of the third quarter, the Dubs' advantage was 20, with the lead reaching as many as 26 in the frame.
The Pelicans made a tremendous effort in the fourth quarter, cutting the deficit to just seven points in the closing minutes. Unfortunately for them, it wasn't enough, as the Warriors held on, winning 113-104 to take the series, 4-1. Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson led the way for the Warriors, combining for 75 points in the win.
NBA playoff scores for Tuesday, May 8
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Game 5: Rockets 112, Jazz 102
The Jazz are facing elimination in Game 5, and they did a pretty good job of hanging around in the first half. The Rockets made a few different runs where they looked ready to pull away, but the Jazz kept bouncing back.
It was a tie game with less than two minutes left in the first half, but then the Rockets closed on an 11-3 run to take an eight point lead into the break.
The first few minutes of the second half will prove crucial. If the Rockets pick up where they left off, they could put this game away. And the Rockets did get off to a strong start in the third quarter, extending their lead to double digits. But the Jazz quickly bounced back, even taking the lead thanks to an incredible performance from Donovan Mitchell, who dropped 22 points in the third.
But the Rockets started to pull away in the fourth, as Chris Paul took over the game to advance to his first ever conference finals.
Paul finished with a playoff career-high 41 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.
Game 5: Warriors 113, Pelicans 104
Facing elimination, the Pelicans came ready to play in the first half, which was closely contested. The Warriors led by just three points at the break.
But the third quarter was all Warriors, as they outscored the Pelicans 36-19 in the frame, and at one point led by 26.
It seemed the Warriors would coast to victory, but the Pelicans made a valiant comeback attempt. But it was too little, too late, as the Warriors held on for a 113-104 win to take the series and advance to the Western Conference finals.