Welcome to the daily Full Court Press playoff edition, where we recap all of the day’s NBA action. Check back every night if you missed any NBA action and come back tomorrow for more NBA playoff fun.
April 23rd, 2018
Houston Rockets vs Minnesota Timberwolves
119-100 Rockets, Rockets lead series 3-1
Next Game: Game Five, Wednesday 4/25 @Houston
After the first half, this game was evenly matched. The Rockets had struggled to score and Minnesota was playing good defense. But in the third quarter, finally, the Rockets turned their offense into high gear and blew Minnesota out of the water. Behind James Harden’s 22 third-quarter points, the Rockets scored 50 (!!!) points in the period. When you have an offense as potent as Houston’s and a defense as poor as Minnesota’s, things like this are bound to happen. Houston’s lead ballooned to 35 in the fourth. Harden had a great game, scoring 36 points in total. Chris Paul played well as well, adding 25 points, six assists, six rebounds, and five steals. Clint Capela dominated the middle, scoring 14 points and grabbing 17 rebounds. Eric Gordon was a spark plug off of the bench, adding 18 points.
Karl-Anthony Towns had another good game, scoring 22 points grabbing 15 rebounds. However, he turned the ball over five times and the Rockets attacked him relentlessly in the first half, picking up three fouls. Derrick Rose picked up the slack off of the bench, scoring 17 points, dishing four assists, and grabbing six rebounds. Jimmy Butler scored 19 with nine rebounds and five assists. When the Rockets are hitting their shots and playing good defense, they are virtually unbeatable, even for the best of teams.
Past Full Court Press Editions
- Full Court Press: Davis, Holiday Combine for 88, Pelicans Sweep Blazers (4/21/18)
- Full Court Press: Bucks, Cavaliers, Wizards All Even Up Series 2-2, Spurs Avoid The Sweep (4/22/18)
Oklahoma City Thunder vs Utah Jazz
113-96 Jazz, Jazz lead series 3-1
Next Game: Game Five, Wednesday 4/25 @Oklahoma City
The Utah Jazz routed the Thunder in game four, taking a commanding 3-1 lead in this series. The Thunder led early in the game like they have before but the Jazz took complete control in the third. Their lead grew to as much as 21 in the fourth. This game was chippy; tempers flared and Jae Crowder was ejected. The Thunder continued to struggle from three, shooting a horrible 5-26 from deep. Donovan Mitchell didn’t look like a rookie with his performance, scoring 33 points and grabbing 7 rebounds. He set the Jazz rookie record for points in a playoff game, passing Karl Malone. Rudy Gobert had another masterful defensive performance and added 10 points and 16 boards. All five Utah starters scored in double figures and Ricky Rubio neared a triple-double with 13 points, eight assists, and six rebounds. Joe Ingles made it rain from three (5-11 from deep), scoring 20 points.
Oklahoma City’s formula of letting the stars do whatever they want clearly isn’t working. Paul George scored 32, but he turned the ball over 6 times and shot 22.2% from beyond the arc. Russell Westbrook scored 23 points and grabbed 14 rebounds but turned the ball over 5 times and shot 38.9% from the field. It is clear that this disorganized, star-driven style of basketball is never going to compete with the Jazz who have good talent but are so fundamentally sound and defensively disciplined.
Ben Pfeifer is the Managing Editor of the Colts for Full Press Coverage, the AFC South Division Editor, and head NBA editor. Want to continue the discussion? Contact Ben Pfeifer on Twitter @Ben_Pfeifer_, @FPC_NBA and @FPC_Colts.