HOUSTON (AP) — James Harden scored 26 points and the Houston Rockets outlasted the Utah Jazz 100-93 on Wednesday night to win their first-round playoff series 4-1.
The Rockets advanced to the Western Conference semifinals for the third straight season and will face the winner of the Los Angeles Clippers-Golden State Warriors series.
Ricky Rubio cut Houston's lead to 94-93 on a jump shot with about a minute left. P.J. Tucker missed two free throws, but grabbed a loose ball seconds later and was fouled again. This time he made both shots to make it 96-93.
Harden blocked a shot by Ruby Gobert on Utah's next possession and he made two free throws to extend the lead to 98-93 with 38 seconds left.
Donovan Mitchell, who was just 4 of 22, missed a 3-pointer after that and Chris Paul added two more free throws to secure the victory.
The Rockets were helped by a solid game from Clint Capela, who had 16 points and 10 rebounds. He acknowledged that he was having trouble breathing in the Game 4 loss because of an upper respiratory infection and was held to just four points.
After scoring 31 points to lead Utah to the victory in Game 4, Mitchell managed just 12 points on a night he missed all nine of his 3-point attempts.
Harden struggled to get going early and didn't score in the first quarter. But after missing his first seven shots and 11 of his first 12 attempts, he finally found a rhythm.