"I'm exhausted of going out and playing and letting fans say what the hell they want to say, I'm not with that".
But as the Utah Jazz learned yet again in Game 4 of these Western Conference semifinals, where the Houston Rockets took a 3-1 series lead with a 100-87 win on Sunday, uphill climbs aren't quite as enjoyable in the National Basketball Association playoffs.
This stretch of dominance included a 30-point halftime lead in Game 3 and resulted in the Rockets heading back home with a 3-1 series lead and once again looking like the best team in the National Basketball Association. "He doesn't, you know, ask for a lot", Harden said. "They were the aggressor all night and we got to be able to understand they're gonna be aggressive and we've got to be able to counter".
The Rockets only allowed three Jazz players to finish in double-digit scoring, with Donovan Mitchell totaling the team high at 25.
Exum was whistled for three first-quarter fouls, with the last two (on a Harden drive and a Harden three-point attempt) questionable enough that the soldout Jazz crowd was incensed. In last year's playoffs, Harden and the Rockets struggled to adapt offensively when the Spurs concentrated their defensive efforts on the three-point line and the rim. Big man Clint Capela was vast as he anchored the Houston defense en route to 15 rebounds, 12 points, six blocks, and two steals.
"We missed 22 shots at the rim", Utah coach Quin Snyder said. Some of them were open. "You've got to put on a helmet and shoulder pads and go out and play, and our guys did".
Paul led the team with a triple-double in Game 4, going off for 27 points, 12 rebounds, 10 assists with two steals and one block in 35 minutes of action.
Mirotic's third three of the first half put the Pelicans up 60-48 late in the second quarter, but the Warriors' ability to score in bursts help them slash their deficit in half before the period ended.
With apologies to the Indiana Pacers, the Utah Jazz were the most inspiring story of the National Basketball Association season.
"There's all different ways to win".
Coach Mike D'Antoni said the most important quality Paul has brought to the Rockets in his first year with the team is his toughness and edge.
The Rockets can close out the best-of-seven series on Tuesday in Game 5 at Houston and the defending champions can similarly do so on the same night.
The big problem for the Jazz is on the offensive end.
"Houston is that good. Give them credit they know how to control a game, in spite of that, we took shots and kept coming and kept coming and eventually couldn't get over the hill".
And may I add that Anderson drains his shots at an incredible 39.3 percent rate off one day of rest which is certainly the reasoning of WHY HIS TIME IS NOW.
Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and the Jazz's current core players are here to stay, and they produced a season that looks and feels like the start of something significant.
Jazz: Rubio missed his fourth straight game due to a left hamstring strain suffered in opening round but is close to returning. The Aussie is averaging 15 points, five boards and three assists, but he showed in Game 2 that he can explode for a big shooting game even on the road.