SALT LAKE CITY — Donovan Mitchell scored 19 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Utah Jazz to a 107-91 win over the Houston Rockets and avoid being swept in the first round of the NBA playoffs.
The Jazz trailed 79-76 after the third quarter, but they started the the final period on a 15-1 run—with 13 of those points coming from Mitchell during that stretch—to take control of the game.
“We’ve had our backs against the wall plenty of times the past two years we’ve been together as a team,” Mitchell said. “This is familiar ground with us. Everybody responded the way we expected them to, but the biggest thing for us is take what we did today and multiply it..”
Jae Crowder and Ricky Rubio helped the Jazz get off to a great start. Crowder scored the first nine points of the game for the Jazz, and scored 14 of his 23 points in the first quarter.
Rubio had 11 of his 18 points in the first quarter, as the Jazz jumped out to a 30-16 lead.
“We have heart,” Rubio said. “We can go there and lose, but it’s not who we are believing that this is just, okay, don’t get swept and that’s it. This is us believing that we can do bigger things. We believe we can do it.”
Game five is Wednesday in Houston.