Donovan Mitchell’s monster fourth quarter helps Utah Jazz stave off elimination

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell scored 19 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter. The Jazz trail the Houston Rockets 3-1 in the series. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI

April 23 (UPI) — Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell erupted in the fourth quarter and scored 19 of his 31 points in the final frame of Game 4 of the first-round series.

Mitchell’s late-game performance helped the Jazz avoid a sweep at the hands of James Harden and the Houston Rockets. The second-year guard struggled earlier in the contest with two turnovers in the opening two minutes. He shot only 36 percent from the field in the first three quarters before going 6-for-12 in the fourth.

The Jazz opened the fourth quarter with a 15-1 run and outscored the Rockets 31-12 during the period. Mitchell, using a flurry of 3-pointers, scored 13 points in three minutes to fuel the run. He scored only 12 points in the first three quarters.

Mitchell gave the Jazz a 91-80 lead with 9:02 remaining after back-to-back 3-pointers. He capped his performance with a highlight-reel alley-oop dunk after catching an inaccurate pass from Royce O’Neale.

Mitchell shot 11-of-26 from the field, including 3-of-7 from 3-point territory, in the Jazz’s 107-91 victory Monday night. He added seven rebounds, four assists and one steal in 40 minutes.

Jae Crowder had 23 points, four rebounds and an assist. Ricky Rubio notched a double-double with 18 points and 11 assists. Derrick Favors had 12 points and O’Neale had 11 off the bench.

Harden led the Rockets with 30 points on 8-of-19 shooting. Point guard Chris Paul had 23 points, eight rebounds and seven assists in 35 minutes. Eric Gordon shot 50 percent from 3-point range and tallied 16 points. PJ Tucker added 13 points and six boards.

Game 5 of the Western Conference series is in Houston on Wednesday night.

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