Rubio: ‘Series Started For Us’ After Game 4 Win

Apr 23, 2019, 10:30 AM
Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) reacts as the Houston Rockets call a time out and the Jazz are ahea...
Utah Jazz guard Ricky Rubio (3) reacts as the Houston Rockets call a time out and the Jazz are ahead during the first quarter of Game 4 of the NBA Playoffs at the Vivint Smart Home Arena in Salt Lake City on Monday, April 22, 2019. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)
(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz held off elimination on Monday night with a 107-91 win in Game 4 against the Houston Rockets to extend the series back to Houston on Wednesday. Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio feels like the series has just started.

“It felt like the series started for us today [Monday],” Rubio said in the locker room after Game 4. “We haven’t showed what we are capable to do in the first two games. The other game at home [Game 3] was helping us get close, but the way they [Houston] played, we should have won the game. Tonight, we played perfectly and the game plan worked.

Rubio had 18 points and 11 assists for the Jazz, including 11 points in the first quarter.

“We want more. It’s not just one game so we don’t get swept,” Rubio said. “We go one game at a time. I want to come back and play here again [in Game 6],” he added.

In order for the Jazz to return to Salt Lake City and play inside a loud Vivint Smart Home Arena, Utah will need to pick up a win on Wednesday night in Houston.


Fourth Quarter Domination

The Utah Jazz trailed by one point entering the fourth quarter after the Rockets outscored the Jazz 32-23 in the third. Donovan Mitchell scored 13 points and Rubio added a bucket to give the Jazz a red-hot 15-1 run in the first three minutes of the final period. Utah went on to outscore the Rockets 31-12 in the fourth to pick up the win.

“It’s fun when we play that way,” he stated. “It’s the playoffs, you have to bring it every night. If you don’t have it, fake it. It’s just that simple. Nothing is going to be easy, but tonight was a matter of us showing our heart. This team [Jazz] is special and has a lot of heart and we showed it tonight,” Rubio said.

Chris Paul had seven points and James Harden dropped just five points as the only Houston players to score in the fourth quarter. Mitchell finished the quarter with 19 points, Derrick Favors added 6 points, Royce O’Neale chipped in 4 points and Rubio had 2 points.

“We played better,” Rubio said. “The crowd was amazing, we have to give a lot of credit to the crowd. Down 3-0 and the way they came to feed us [energy] and everybody stepped up tonight. The strength of the team is the team and we showed it again tonight,” he mentioned.

Donovan Mitchell

Mitchell’s fourth quarter performance carried the Jazz to victory, but he had to be picked up by his teammates after their disappointing Game 3 loss on Saturday, when Mitchell missed the potential game-tying three-pointer.

“We believe in him,” he stated. “Kyle [Korver] said it perfectly. The way he carried the team is unreal. I don’t want to repeat what Kyle said but it’s true. The experience he has had in the NBA seems like he has played in the playoffs forever. It’s great to have a teammate like that,” Rubio said.

After Game 3, Korver told the media about how mature Mitchell is and that it’s only the beginning of his story.

“He [Mitchell] is our guy. We trust him. He is the most humble star that I have been around,” Rubio said after Game 4. “He asked for advice [after Game 3] because he cares. He keeps playing with heart and showing us the way,” he mentioned.

The Jazz will travel to Houston for Game 5 on Wednesday with the Rockets leading the series 3-1. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. on TNT.

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