Donovan Mitchell (45) of the Utah Jazz and Chris Paul (3) of the Houston Rockets go after the loose ball during Game Five of the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on May 8, 2018 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The Jazz scored the next seven points, highlighted by a 3-pointer from Royce O'Neale, before Paul made eight quick points to push Houston's lead to 105-96 with about three minutes left.
The Louisville product wasted little time making an impact at the National Basketball Association level and averaged 20.5 points, 3.7 assists, 3.7 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game in his 2017-18 season while serving as the go-to option in Utah's offense. He twice came a game away from the conference finals.
That expectation became a reality on Tuesday evening when the Rockets upended the Utah Jazz in Game 5 with Paul leading the way for Houston. He dropped a game-high 41 points along with 10 assists and seven rebounds in the Rockets' 112-102 Game 5 win over the Jazz. His previous career-best in the playoffs was 35 points, which he accomplished three times.
Houston will meet the victor of the series between Golden State and New Orleans, which the Warriors lead 3-1. All things considered (remembering Ricky Rubio missed this entire series), Utah should feel more than hopeful entering next season.
Mitchell injured his left foot in Game 1 of the first round against the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he continued to play on a sore toe. Mitchell remained in a crouch on the other end, pointing to the back of his left leg.
But with 1:16 left in the period, Mitchell drilled a pull-up 3 for a 78-72 lead. The Jazz called timeout and with the assistance of a trainer and teammate Joe Ingles, Mitchell was helped to the bench.
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