Joe Ingles and the Utaz Jazz are out of the playoffs.
Joe Ingles and the Utaz Jazz are out of the playoffs.

Paul’s insane career night sparks Rockets win

JOE Ingles and his Utah Jazz are out of the NBA playoffs, having fallen victim to an inspired performance from veteran Houston guard Chris Paul - who dropped a career-best playoff game to notched a career first.

Paul, who in a 13-year career has never reached the Conference Finals, had 41 points - including eight three-pointers - and 10 assists in a masterful performance as the Jazz notched a 112-102 win to seal a 4-1 series victory and reached the Western Conference Finals.

Paul scored 20 points in the final quarter to hold off a gutsy Jazz outfit that had been spurred by a stunning 22-point third quarter from rookie guard Donovan Mitchell.

Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul played like a man possessed.
Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul played like a man possessed.

Mitchell single-handedly dragged the Jazz back into the contest with his offensive explosion after the halftime break -

But the night finished in heartbreak for the exciting rookie, who suffered a game-ending knee injury following a collision with James Harden in the fourth quarter.

Harden, the expected league MVP, had an uncharacteriscally quiet game - posting just 18 points from 22 shots. He shot a woeful 31.8 per cent from the field.

Donovan Mitchell was spectacular for the visitors.
Donovan Mitchell was spectacular for the visitors.

Australia's Joe Ingles battled foul trouble all night for the Jazz, posting 12 points, five rebounds and six assists from 31 minutes on court.

Ingles' fellow Boomer Dante Exum missed the match due a hamstring injury suffered in Utah's game-four loss.