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 series 4-1 and move on to western conference finals.
"They are a great team and have a lot of weapons," Ingles told reporters after the game.
The Jazz appeared set 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.
Paul's extraordinary performance also included 10 assists, seven rebounds and no turnovers.
"He put us all on his back," Harden, who was sick with an undisclosed illness and had a below average 18 points, said.
Ingles applauded the resiliency of his Jazz teammates.
Utah had largely been written off as play-off contenders when All-Star forward Gordon Hayward left the team last year for the Boston Celtics.
Early in the season they had a 19-28 win-loss record and suffered through injuries, but finished with the fifth best record in the competitive west and beat Oklahoma City Thunder in the first round of the playoffs.
"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, sparked a 21-6 third quarter run against the Rockets.
The team's fortunes crashed when Mitchell aggravated a left foot injury while tussling with Harden 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 hamstring injuries.