Rockets eliminate Jazz to take on Warriors

Peter Mitchell, AAP US Correspondent
1 / 2

NBA

Joe Ingles was Utah's second-highest scorer in the NBA playoffs, averaging 14.8 points per game

The Houston Rockets' All-Star guard Chris Paul has bombed Australian duo Joe Ingles and Dante Exum out of the NBA Playoffs.

The Rockets, led by Paul's 41 points including eight three-pointers, beat the Utah Jazz 112-102 on Tuesday in Houston to take the semi-final series 4-1 and move on to a much-anticipated match-up with the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.

The reigning NBA champion Warriors cruised to a 113-104 win over the New Orleans Pelicans in Oakland on Tuesday to also take their series 4-1.

Ingles said his Jazz were unable to match the Rockets' firepower.

"They are a great team and have a lot of weapons," Ingles told reporters after the game.

The Jazz were hoping Ingles would go on a point scoring spree, but the Australian missed four of his six three-point attempts for 12 points.

The Jazz appeared poised to upset the Rockets and extend the series when they took a five point lead early in the fourth quarter, but Paul refused to let it happen.

"Whatever it took to win," Paul said.

Paul endured 12 tortured seasons with the New Orleans Hornets and Los Angeles Clippers where he failed to make the conference finals and has carried the stigma of not being able to take his team deep into the playoffs.

The 33-year-old fled to the Rockets in the off-season, gelled with the team's leader James Harden and they stormed through the regular season with an NBA best record of 65 wins and 17 losses.

Paul had 20 of his 41 points in the final quarter to extinguish the Jazz.

He hit eight of his 10 three-point attempts for the game.

Paul's extraordinary tally included 10 assists, seven rebounds and no turnovers.

Harden scored 18 points, well below the 30 points per game he averaged during this year's playoffs.

Ingles applauded the resiliency of his Jazz team-mates.

The Jazz had largely been written off as playoff contenders when All-Star forward Gordon Hayward left the team last year for the Boston Celtics and started the season with a dismal 19 win, 28 loss record.

"I'm proud of our guys for their effort not just for tonight, but the whole year," Ingles said.

The Jazz's star rookie Donovan Mitchell, with 24 points for the game, sparked a 21-6 third quarter run against the Rockets.

The team's fortunes crashed when Mitchell aggravated a left foot injury with seven minutes to go in the game and hobbled to the locker room.

Exum and starting point guard Ricky Rubio both sat out the game with a hamstring injuries.

The Warriors earned their fourth straight Western Conference finals berth by eliminating the Pelicans.

Game one of the best-of-seven series against the Rockets will be in Houston on Monday.

The Warriors' Stephen Curry had 28 points, Kevin Durant 24 points and Draymond Green came close to a triple-double with 19 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists against the Pelicans.