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The Roundup—Jazz drop Game 5, series in Houston
The Utah Jazz had their chances to prolong the series—and their season—Wednesday night in Houston, but their shots simply didn't fall.
The Jazz shot 37.2 percent from the field in a season-ending 100-93 loss to the Rockets in Game 5 of their first-round series.
"It wasn't the prettiest game. Sometimes that's the case when you have two teams that really want to win and are competing," Jazz head coach Quin Snyder said. "Houston's such a unique team, and they're really difficult to play against."
Royce O'Neale led the Jazz with 18 points, while Ricky Rubio (17 points, 11 assists, three steals) and Jae Crowder (15 points, 10 rebounds) registered double-doubles. Rudy Gobert had nine points, 10 rebounds and two blocks in the loss.
Joe Ingles scored in double figures for the first time this postseason, finishing with 11 points, six rebounds, nine assists and three steals.
Donovan Mitchell struggled throughout, finishing with 12 points on 4-for-22 shooting.
After falling behind 8-0 in the first 90 seconds, the Jazz regrouped to even the score at the end of the first quarter. They built a seven-point lead midway through the second period before Houston closed the first half on an 11-1 run to take a four-point lead into the break.
The Rockets kept things rolling in the third quarter, opening the second half on a 10-2 run to take a 12-point lead. The Jazz kept it close throughout—and even took a two-point lead early in the fourth quarter—but the Rockets reeled off a quick 5-0 run and then protected a slim lead the rest of the way. Utah pulled within one with 1:32 left to play but failed to score the rest of the way, eventually falling by seven.
James Harden and Chris Paul combined to score 18 of Houston's 25 fourth-quarter points to seal the victory.
Harden led the Rockets with 26 points, though he only shot 10-for-26 from the field and 3-for-12 from three. Paul added 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals, while Clint Capela (15 points, 10 rebounds) and Eric Gordon (15 points, 4-for-8 from three) also had solid games for Houston.
O'Neale was one of the best players throughout the series, and he capped off his postseason with 18 points on 8-for-13 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three, along with five rebounds and two assists. He finished with a net rating of +1 in 33 minutes off the bench, and his aggressive defense was a key factor in Harden shooting only 36.7 percent for the series.
put an accent on itpic.twitter.com/c6fm2MLkvE— Utah Jazz (@utahjazz) April 25, 2019
This series came down to shooting, especially from the outside. In their lone win on Monday night, the Jazz shot 11-for-35 (31.4 percent) from beyond the arc—not great, but also not overly poor. In their four losses, however, they shot 36-for-144 (25.0 percent) from long distance, including 9-for-38 (23.7 percent) in Game 5.
Continuing the theme of 3-pointers, the Rockets outscored the Jazz 231-144 from beyond the arc during the series.
Coach's Quote of the Night
"Donovan had a tough night statistically, as did the rest of our team. In a lot of ways, as Donovan goes at times, we go. I won't call it a burden, but it's a responsibility that I think he's shown time and time again, even for a young player, to understand that and to rise to the challenge. You're not always going to have great nights and make the shot and have it go your way. The thing I'm grateful for in having an opportunity to coach Donovan is his approach. Anytime you have disappointment or adversity, you channel it and get better. That's what Donovan's done all season, and I'm proud of him for competing the way he does."
Jazz head coach Quin Snyder
This marks the second straight season that Utah has dropped a postseason series 4-1 to Houston. ... Crowder and Paul picked up technical fouls late in the fourth quarter. ... Utah dished out 26 assists. Houston had 17. ... Utah had a 29-20 advantage in bench points. ... The Rockets blocked 12 shots and grabbed 12 steals. ... Utah finished with 14 offensive rebounds but only eight second-chance points.
The 2018-19 season is over for the Utah Jazz. The Houston Rockets will move on to the Western Conference Semifinals to face the winner of the Warriors-Clippers series.