Chris Paul erupted for a playoff career-high 41 points Tuesday night, carrying the Houston Rockets as they eliminated the Utah Jazz 112-102 in Game 5.
This is Paul’s first time reaching the conference finals, and his monster performance sets up a long-awaited showdown with the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) May 9, 2018
James Harden had an off night—scoring 18 points on 7-22 shooting—and was thankful for CP3’s heroics, which included 10 assists and seven rebounds.
Per the AP:
“He said you get out of the way … I’m going to put us on my back,” James Harden said. “You could see it in his eyes. He had that look in his eyes. If he has that look in his eyes … he’s a problem.”
It will be Houston’s second trip to the Western Conference finals in four years and the first ever for Paul. The point guard has been panned for failing to get past the second round in his nine previous trips to the postseason.
“He’s been under a lot of unfair scrutiny throughout the playoffs and tonight he showed that he wanted it,” Utah star rookie Donovan Mitchell, who is close with Paul, said. “He does it every night, but taking over the way he did was very impressive.”