Yet another Russell Westbrook dominant effort went to waste on Tuesday night, and this time, it ended the Thunder's season. Westbrook had 47 points, but somehow that was not enough, as the Rockets eliminated the Thunder with a 105-99 Game-5 victory. James Harden had 34 points for Houston, who got big contributions from the likes of Lou Williams and Patrick Beverly in the clutch win. Williams had 22 points off the bench, while Beverly scored 15 points while being defended by Westbrook. The Thunder point guard had 11 rebounds and nine assists, falling just short of his fourth straight triple-double. He went off for 20 points in the third quarter alone, but fell off in the fourth by shooting just 2-of-11, allowing the Rockets to pull away. Houston used their impressive free throw shooting to seal the game late, advancing out of the first round for the second time in three years. They will face the winner of the Spurs-Grizzlies series.
Spurs Pull Away to Take Series Lead on Grizzlies
Speaking of the Spurs-Grizzlies series, they also had a common trend remain true on Tuesday, and that's the dominance of the home team. The San Antonio Spurs pulled away behind Kawhi Leonard's 28 points to take a 3-2 series lead with a 116-103 win over the Memphis Grizzlies. Patty Mills had a postseason career-high 20 points, while Manu Ginobili chipped in a productive 18 minutes with 10 points, three assists, and three steals in the victory that helped his team rebound after back-to-back road losses. Another veteran, Tony Parker, contributed as well with 16 points and six assists, while big man, LaMarcus Aldridge, added 12 points and nine rebounds. San Antonio leaned on their three-point shooting to help them pull away in the second half, as they made 14-of-28 from beyond the arc, falling two short of their postseason record. Both teams shot very well from the field, with the Spurs finishing at 53 percent, and the Grizzlies at 52 percent. Mike Conley led the way with 26 points for Memphis, who has lost nine straight playoff games in San Antonio. They will look to force a Game 7 Thursday night in Game 6 on their home floor.
Jazz Take Down Clippers in L.A. for 3-2 Series Lead
The Utah Jazz made a big statement on Tuesday night on the road, as Gordon Hayward scored 27 points to lead them to a huge 96-92 win over the Los Angeles Clippers on the road. The win gives the Jazz a 3-2 series lead heading back home where they can end the series. Utah used a big fourth quarter, making five three-pointers in the final 12 minutes, including three from Rodney Hood, who had 16 points on the night. Joe Johnson continued his clutch shooting in the series with two huge fourth-quarter shots to keep his team ahead. Chris Paul led the Clippers with 28 points and made things interesting with a three-pointer in the final seconds, but George Hill's final two free throws officially ended the Clippers' hopes. J.J. Reddick added 26 points for a short-handed L.A. team, which is without Blake Griffin for the remainder of the postseason. Utah led by as many as 11 in the fourth quarter, and can advance to the second round with a Game-6 win in Salt Lake City on Friday night.