By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun
ANKARA (AA) - The Houston Rockets defeated the Utah Jazz 100-93 in Game 5 of the Western Conference first-round series to advance to semi-finals.
Rockets' superstar and 2018 regular season MVP James Harden scored a game-high 26 points, grabbed 6 rebounds and dished out 6 assists for an all-around game against the Jazz.
Despite the resilient effort by the Jazz, down 1-3 going into the matchup, the Rockets managed to close out the match and the series.
With 1:32 to go in the fourth quarter, Jazz cut the deficit to one point (94-93), but after that could not score a single point. Rockets were able to hit free throws to ice the game.
While the season is over for the Utah Jazz, the Rockets will face the winner of Golden State Warriors - Los Angeles Clippers series winner in the semi-finals of the Western Conference.
- Clippers stave off elimination
The Los Angeles Clippers managed to defeat the reigning NBA champions the Golden State Warriors to extend the first-round series for at least one more game.
Clippers defeated the Warriors 129-121 to grab their second win in the series, making it 3-2.
Lou Williams was once again the hot hand for the Clippers, as he scored 33 points and dished out 10 assists coming off the bench.
Also coming off the bench, Montrezl Harrell scored 24 points, shooting 11/14 from the field. Danilo Gallinari also added 26 points in the victory.
For the Warriors, Kevin Durant scored a game-high 45 points, while Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry combined for 46 points on a losing effort.
The series will now shift back to Los Angeles, to Staples Center for Game 6.