Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 pm30 8:28pm

Chris Paul, Rockets take Game 4 over Jazz, head home with 3-1 series lead

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SportsPulse: USA TODAY Sports’ Jeff Zillgitt breaks down LeBron James’ buzzer-beater that lifted the Cavs over the Raptors and the mistakes that doomed the 76ers against the Celtics. USA TODAY Sports

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Chris Paul had 27 points and 12 rebounds while James Harden scored 24 points to power the Houston Rockets to a 100-87 win over the Utah Jazz on Sunday night, taking a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinal series.

Paul, playing the sidekick to Harden for most of his first season in Houston, took center stage, controlling the tempo and getting to his favorite spots as the Rockets led from start to finish.

Donovan Mitchell scored 25 before fouling out and Joe Ingles had 15 for the Jazz.

Mitchell started finding lanes to the basket late and got the Jazz within 85-80 after he fueled a 10-2 run. But Paul, who matched his scoring high for this playoff run, hit a pull-up jumper and found Trevor Ariza for a 3-pointer to put the Rockets back up by double digits and they never looked back.

Houston, which has been known for their offensive firepower, put forth a disruptive defensive effort.

Clint Capela, the anchor of the Houston defense, had 12 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks, one of which featured a Dikembe Mutombo-like finger wag in the fourth quarter.

The Rockets went up by 15 in the second quarter before the Jazz closed to 51-46 on back-to-back three-point plays by Mitchell. Utah trailed 58-48 at the half.

Neither team was accurate from beyond the arc as the Jazz were 7-for-29 and Houston went 10-for-38.

TIP-INS

Rockets: Harden’s 14 first-quarter points were the most for him in the opening period this postseason. … Flying to close out on an Ingles’ 3-pointer in the second quarter, P.J. Tucker raked the Jazz sharpshooter across the face and earned a Flagrant 1. … Capela and Mitchell got double technical fighting for rebound in the fourth quarter and Houston coach Mike D’Antoni got another for his reaction to the play.

Jazz: Ricky Rubio missed his fourth straight game due to a left hamstring strain suffered in opening round but is close to returning. … Gobert, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds, blocked two shots in the opening moments but the Rockets burst to another big lead, 11-3, just as they did Game 1 and 3. … Royce O’Neale left the game with 9:09 left in the first quarter with an apparent knee injury but returned at the end of the period.

UP NEXT

The series shifts back to Houston for Game 5.

NBA playoffs: Best of the second round

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May 6: Chris Paul shoots the ball over Royce O'Neale

May 6: Chris Paul shoots the ball over Royce O’Neale during the second quarter of Game 4.  Chris Nicoll, USA TODAY Sports
May 6: Jae Crowder celebrates after making a three-pointer

May 6: Jae Crowder celebrates after making a three-pointer during Game 4.  Chris Nicoll, USA TODAY Sports
May 6: Anthony Davis dunks during Game 4.

May 6: Anthony Davis dunks during Game 4.  Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports
May 6: Steve Kerr taps Stephen Curry on the head during

May 6: Steve Kerr taps Stephen Curry on the head during Game 4.  Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports
May 6: Stephen Curry passes as Ian Clark and Anthony

May 6: Stephen Curry passes as Ian Clark and Anthony Davis defend during Game 4.  Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports
May 5: LeBron James celebrates after hitting the game-winner

May 5: LeBron James celebrates after hitting the game-winner in Game 3.  Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports
May 5: LeBron James and Kevin Love celebrate after

May 5: LeBron James and Kevin Love celebrate after James’ game-winner in Game 3.  Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports
May 5: OG Anunoby looks to pass as LeBron James defends

May 5: OG Anunoby looks to pass as LeBron James defends during Game 3.  Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports
May 5: OG Anunoby guards LeBron James during the first

May 5: OG Anunoby guards LeBron James during the first half of Game 3.  Ken Blaze, USA TODAY Sports
May 5: Al Horford and Jayson Tatum all smiles after

May 5: Al Horford and Jayson Tatum all smiles after Game 3.  Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports
May 5: Joel Embiid dunks over Aron Baynes during Game

May 5: Joel Embiid dunks over Aron Baynes during Game 3.  Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports
May 5: Joel Embiid stares down Aron Baynes during Game

May 5: Joel Embiid stares down Aron Baynes during Game 3.  Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports
May 4: James Harden shoots the ball against Rudy Gobert

May 4: James Harden shoots the ball against Rudy Gobert during Game 3.  Russell Isabella, USA TODAY Sports
May 4: Clint Capela goes up for a dunk against Jonas

May 4: Clint Capela goes up for a dunk against Jonas Jerebko during Game 3.  Russell Isabella, USA TODAY Sports
May 4: Chris Paul attempts to dribble the ball around

May 4: Chris Paul attempts to dribble the ball around Raul Neto during Game 3.  Russell Isabella, USA TODAY Sports
May 4: Anthony Davis dunks the ball during Game 3.

May 4: Anthony Davis dunks the ball during Game 3.  Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports
May 4: Anthony Davis dunks over Draymond Green and

May 4: Anthony Davis dunks over Draymond Green and Kevon Looney during Game 3.  Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports
May 4: Kevin Durant shoots over Solomon Hill during

May 4: Kevin Durant shoots over Solomon Hill during the first quarter of Game 3.  Derick E. Hingle, USA TODAY Sports
May 3: Marcus Smart reacts after a basket during Game

May 3: Marcus Smart reacts after a basket during Game 2.  Bob DeChiara, USA TODAY Sports
May 3: JJ Redick and Jaylen Brown battle for a loose

May 3: JJ Redick and Jaylen Brown battle for a loose ball during Game 2.  Bob DeChiara, USA TODAY Sports
May 3: Kevin Love dunks the ball during Game 2.

May 3: Kevin Love dunks the ball during Game 2.  Tom Szczerbowski, USA TODAY Sports
May 3: George Hill goes to the basket against OG Anunoby.

May 3: George Hill goes to the basket against OG Anunoby.  Tom Szczerbowski, USA TODAY Sports
May 2: Clint Capela blocks a shot by Rudy Gobert during

May 2: Clint Capela blocks a shot by Rudy Gobert during Game 2.  Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
May 2: Jae Crowder and Alec Burks celebrate during

May 2: Jae Crowder and Alec Burks celebrate during Game 2.  Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
May 2: Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins

May 2: Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins shoots a ceremonial first ball before Game 2.  Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
May 1: Stephen Curry talks to Barry Bonds after Game

May 1: Stephen Curry talks to Barry Bonds after Game 2.  Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports
May 1: Stephen Curry celebrates after hitting a three-pointer

May 1: Stephen Curry celebrates after hitting a three-pointer in Game 2.  Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports
May 1: Kyle Lowry gets helped up by teammates during

May 1: Kyle Lowry gets helped up by teammates during Game 1.  John E. Sokolowski, USA TODAY Sports
May 1: OG Anunoby defends LeBron James during Game

May 1: OG Anunoby defends LeBron James during Game 1.  John E. Sokolowski, USA TODAY Sports
May 1: LeBron James throws down a dunk during Game

May 1: LeBron James throws down a dunk during Game 1.  John E. Sokolowski, USA TODAY Sports
April 30: Marcus Smart attempts to defend Joel Embiid

April 30: Marcus Smart attempts to defend Joel Embiid during Game 1.  Winslow Townson, USA TODAY Sports
April 30: Ben Simmons drives to the basket on Al Horford

April 30: Ben Simmons drives to the basket on Al Horford during Game 1.  Winslow Townson, USA TODAY Sports
April 30: Terry Rozier and teammates react to a three-pointer

April 30: Terry Rozier and teammates react to a three-pointer during Game 1.  Winslow Townson, USA TODAY Sports
April 30: Dario Saric chases a loose ball before it

April 30: Dario Saric chases a loose ball before it goes out of bounds during Game 1.  Winslow Townson, USA TODAY Sports
April 29: James Harden does postgame interviews after

April 29: James Harden does postgame interviews after Houston’s Game 1 victory.  Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
April 29: Chris Paul shoots the ball over Derrick Favors

April 29: Chris Paul shoots the ball over Derrick Favors during Game 1.  Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
April 29: Rockets players huddle before the start of

April 29: Rockets players huddle before the start of Game 1.  Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports
April 28: Rajon Rondo dribbles the ball up court during

April 28: Rajon Rondo dribbles the ball up court during Game 1.  Cary Edmondson, USA TODAY Sports
April 28: Kevin Durant goes up for a dunk during Game

April 28: Kevin Durant goes up for a dunk during Game 1.  Cary Edmondson, USA TODAY Sports
April 28: Draymond Green reacts after the Warriors

April 28: Draymond Green reacts after the Warriors scored a basket during Game 1.  Cary Edmondson, USA TODAY Sports

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