The Houston Rockets were able to advance to the Western Conference Finals with a dominant win over the Utah Jazz in Game 5 even though James Harden didn’t have his best game.
He looked a little off all game, and after the game, the reason was revealed. Chris Paul said in his postgame interview with TNT’s Kristen Ledlow that James Harden was a little “under the weather” for the game.
For Harden, he was able to play 35 minutes, but scored only 18 points shooting 7-22 from the field. 18 points is still a good night for most, but for Harden, the expectations are a lot higher.
With Harden under the weather that meant more was needed from Chris Paul and he stepped right up to the plate. In 38 minutes, Paul put up 41 points, 10 assists, and seven rebounds. He shot an impressive 8-10 from deep and that type of play is going to be needed in the next round.
The biggest thing to come out of the game was how good the Rockets were from deep. The Rockets were able to shoot 18-39 from beyond the arc and that is a really good sign. For most of the playoffs the three-point shooting hasn’t held up to expectations and it is going to need to be good in the next series.
The Warriors will now move on to face either the Golden State Warriors or the New Orleans Pelicans in the Western Conference Finals. If they face off with the Warriors they will probably come into the series as slight underdogs.