Utah Jazz v Houston Rockets

Three takeaways from the Rockets gritty road victory in Game 4 over the Jazz

#Chris Paul Harden

After stealing homecourt away from the league's best regular season team, the Utah Jazz now face elimination dropping Game 4 to the Houston Rockets 100-87.

The Rockets who were an NBA best 31-10 on the road this season are one win away from reaching the conference finals for the first time since 2014-15.

Game 5 is set for Tuesday night back in Houston.

Here are three takeaways from the Rockets' gritty Game 4 win:

Chris Paul

CP3 turned 33 on Sunday, and he celebrated with his best game of the playoffs thus far. Paul finished with a game-high 27 points, 12 rebounds and six assists.

Whenever the Rockets needed a run stopping basket it was Paul who either made the shot or created the look for Houston. This was the reason why coach Mike D'Antoni and the Rockets believed that a backcourt of Paul and James Harden would work.

Paul's presence allows Harden to have average nights - and even off-nights in the playoffs. When both are clicking they look like a championship calibre team.

With the win in Game 4, Paul is once again one win away from reaching the conference finals for the first time in his career.

Defence

The Rockets have never had an issue getting to 100 points under coach D'Antoni, the problem historically was keeping other teams from scoring. Game 4 was the perfect example of how much better defensively Houston has become this season.

The off-season additions of P.J. Tucker, Luc Mbah A Moute, Chris Paul and the emergence of Clint Capela has given them a solid foundation to fall back on when their threes aren't falling.

Houston held the Jazz to 38.6% from the field and just 24.1% from long range. They stole the ball 11 times and forced Utah into 17 turnovers overall.

Nothing came easy for the Jazz who missed 22 shots at the rim according to head coach Quin Snyder. Capela came away with six of the Rocket's nine blocks - adding to his stat line of 12 points, 15 rebounds.

Rudy Gobert who finished the game a minus 27, may win Defensive Player of the Year this season, but Capela has been outplaying him on both ends of the floor in this series.

Injuries

The Jazz have been so resilient all season long dealing with multiple injuries to key people. Only Aussie Joe Ingles has appeared in all the Jazz's games this season - playing all 82 in the regular season and 10 so far in the post-season.

Utah clearly misses Ricky Rubio who hasn't played a game in the series and with Dante Exum going down with a hamstring injury in Game 4 they've now lost their best weapon against the potential league MVP Harden.

The Jazz were able to weather the storm without key players all season long, but if they get eliminated in this round Utah may look back and wonder what could've been if they had been healthy.

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