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|Chris Paul is an ultra-intense competitor Cheap Derwin James Jersey , often the most passionate player on the court.
But even for his Houston Rockets teammates, what they saw from him Tuesday night was on another level.
Paul scored a playoff career-high 41 points with eight 3-pointers to finally reach the conference finals, helping the Rockets eliminate the Utah Jazz 112-102 in Game 5.
”He said you get out of the way … I’m going to put us on my back,” James Harden said. ”You could see it in his eyes. He had that look in his eyes. If he has that look in his eyes … he’s a problem.”
The Rockets will meet Golden State after the Warriors closed out their series against the New Orleans Pelicans later Tuesday night. Top-seeded Houston will host the series opener Monday night.
It will be Houston’s second trip to the Western Conference finals in four years and the first ever for Paul. The point guard has been panned for failing to get past the second round in his nine previous trips to the postseason.
”He’s been under a lot of unfair scrutiny throughout the playoffs and tonight he showed that he wanted it,” Utah star rookie Donovan Mitchell, who is close with Paul, said. ”He does it every night, but taking over the way he did was very impressive.”
Paul Breeland Speaks Jersey , a nine-time All-Star in his first season with Houston after an offseason trade from the Los Angeles Clippers, also had 10 assists and seven rebounds. His previous career-best in the playoffs was 35 points, which he accomplished three times
The 33-year-old scored 20 points in the fourth quarter, answering everything the Jazz tried to do in order to close out the game and series.
”He was playing with a chip on his shoulder,” Luc Mbah a Moute said. ”In that fourth quarter, he just took over.”
Paul had been in the conference semifinals four other times before finally getting over the hump this season. He lost to the Spurs 4-3 in 2008 while with New Orleans and was swept by San Antonio in 2012 with the Clippers. He also lost 4-2 to the Thunder while with Los Angeles, and his Clippers had a 3-1 lead in 2015 before Houston won the next three games.
The Rockets were able to close out the series despite Harden, the front-runner for MVP Nick Chubb Jersey , being under the weather. Coach Mike D’Antoni disclosed that Harden wasn’t feeling well Tuesday, and he looked a little worn down postgame. But when asked what was wrong with him, Harden said he was fine.
Paul said he was just trying to pick up the slack with Harden not feeling like himself.
”Whatever it took to win,” Paul said. ”James was under the weather so we were just trying to pick him up.”
Houston lost to the Warriors 4-1 when they last reached the conference finals in 2015. They believe they’re much better suited to match up with Golden State this time around, but know it won’t be easy to dethrone the defending champions.
”They’ve been built to beat everybody,” general manager Daryl Morey said. ”They’re going to be a tough matchup. We’ll have to bring our A-plus game and I think our guys are ready.”
While the Rockets took a minute Tuesday night to appreciate what they’ve done so far, they were quick to point out that they’re far from finished chasing their goals this season.
”We just advanced in another series which is an accomplishment, but that’s not our main goal Mike Gesicki Dolphins Jersey ,” Trevor Ariza said. ”We are still taking steps toward that, but this is an accomplishment.”
Houston is in the conference finals for the seventh time in franchise history and looking to win its first title since taking back-to-back championships in 1994-95.
Harden loves that he has so many players around him that have led to the team’s success this season and thinks that will be valuable moving forward.
”In order to get where we want to go we needed the right piece, and that’s what they’re here for,” he said. ”I know if we give the effort that we know we can it’s pretty tough to beat us.”
Dwight Clark is one of the most important figures in San Francisco 49ers history, and the franchise will immortalize him during the 2018 season.聽The 49ers announced聽Wednesday players will wear No. 87 helmet decals during the campaign. A statue commemorating The Catch, which features Clark and Joe Montana, will be unveiled during an Oct. 21 game against the Los Angeles Rams.聽Clark's most famous NFL moment was his role in The Catch. He seemingly came out of nowhere to grab a pass from Montana in the back of the end zone in the final minute of the 1981 NFC Championship Game against the Dallas Cowboys to give the 49ers a 28-27 win and set them up for their first Super Bowl victory.聽Team president and CEO Al Guido shared a rendering of what the statue will look like:Al Guido @AlGuidoIf our memories of Dwight Clark are not big enough, @49ers new memorial to #87 & The Catch features DC @ 120% of life size Authentic Austin Corbett Jersey , weighing approx. 350 lbs. & standing 7' tall. Fitting for a man who was a true giant w/ a heart to match, dedicated to his teammates thru @goldenheartfund https://t.co/M7KiSGXIgo49ers CEO Jed York issued a statement regarding the team's plans to celebrate Clark's life and legacy in 2018:"Almost four decades ago, Dwight Clark's miraculous catch launched the San Francisco 49ers into an era of excellence.聽Since that time, he has served as an inspirational figure to citizens of the Bay Area and beyond. Dwight has meant so much to so many and it is only fitting that our organization continues to carry on his wonderful legacy. The 2018 season provides us a tremendous opportunity to celebrate the life of a very special man, while also raising awareness for the Golden Heart Fund, which was so dear to his heart. Dwight lived his life with great compassion for others, and we want to honor that legacy by raising funds to support his 49ers brothers."Clark, who announced in March 2017 he had been diagnosed with ALS Terrell Edmunds Jersey , died from the disease June 4 at age 61.聽After being a 10th-round draft pick by the 49ers in 1979, Clark spent his entire nine-year NFL career with the franchise. He led the league with 60 receptions during the 1982 season and won two Super Bowl titles..