Wednesday night had no shortage of NBA action as two games came down to the wire.
The Houston Rockets finished off one of two potential elimination games to start off Wednesday night’s slate of NBA action. Behind a big performance from James Harden, who finished with a team-high 26 points, the Rockets defended their home floor with a 100-93 win over the Utah Jazz. They’ll advance on to what many expect will be a showdown with the Warriors in the Western Conference semifinals.
In the second game, the top-ranked Warriors couldn’t hold off the Clippers as Los Angeles defeated Golden State, 129-121, in Game 5 to remain alive. Game 6 will now take place on Friday night as the series shifts back to Staples Center.
The winner of the Warriors/Clippers series will face the Rockets in the semifinals.
Below is everything you need to know about Wednesday’s first-round action:
NBA playoffs schedule for Wednesday, April 24
Sweet Lou notches double-double as Clips down Warriors
There will be a Game 6 after all. After clutch performances from both Lou Williams (33 points and 10 assists) and Patrick Beverley (17 points and 14 rebounds) the Clippers defeated the Warriors, 129-121. Game 6 will take place on Friday night at Staples Center.
Harrell jams it over Draymond on poster
The Clippers desperately want to extend this series and they’re doing a good job so far in Game 5. As Los Angeles carried a 104-94 lead over Golden State entering the fourth quarter, Montrezl Harrell made sure to dunk it over Draymond Green before the quarter ended.
Sweet Lou scores 18 points in first half
The Clippers held an eight-point lead at halftime over the Warriors in Game 5 and in large part because of Lou Williams. The Sixth Man extraordinaire scored 18 points in the opening half.
Beverley nearly puts up double-double in first half
I don’t think anybody expected this. As the Warriors looked to close out the Clippers in Game 5, they struggled to do so as they were vastly outplayed in the second quarter. The Clippers took a 71-63 over the Warriors into halftime after Patrick Beverley nearly put up a double-double (14 points, nine rebounds).
Warriors score 41 points in first quarter versus Clippers
If you thought that this game wouldn’t be high-scoring, you couldn’t be any more wrong. The Warriors ended up taking a 41-37 lead over the Clippers in the first quarter, highlighted by Kevin Durant’s 12 points and Stephen Curry’s 10 points in the opening period.
Harden leads the Rockets to series-clinching victory
While it wasn’t his best effort, Rockets star James Harden did enough to lead the Rockets to the Western Conference semifinals on Wednesday night after stuffing the stat sheet in Houston’s 100-93 win.
Paul turns in stellar effort for the Rockets
Chris Paul was forced to battle early foul trouble but, in the end, he left his mark on the matchup between the Rockets and Jazz on Wednesday night by finishing the series-clinching win with 15 points to go along with eight rebounds and five assists.
Harden comes up with clutch steal
James Harden is not known for his defense, but he made the big play on that end of the floor in the closing seconds of Wednesday night’s Game 5 to help his team finish off the Utah Jazz and advance to the second round.
Gordon goes glass from 3
The Jazz are doing everything they can to get the ball out of James Harden’s hands, and sometimes that means giving up open shots to other players. Eric Gordon got one of those open looks, and launched an immediate 3 that banked in from the top of the key.
Harden goes up top to Capela
James Harden led the league in scoring this season, but he’s also a tremendous playmaker. One of his favorite plays is driving inside and tossing up a lob to Clint Capela, as he did in Game 5.