In a series where their shots weren't falling like normal, the Houston Rockets managed to close it out with some tough defense.

James Harden scored 26 points and the host Rockets outlasted the Utah Jazz 100-93 on Wednesday to win their first-round playoff series 4-1.

Houston advanced to the Western Conference semifinals for the third season in a row and will face the Los Angeles Clippers or the Golden State Warriors. That series will go to a sixth game after the Clippers won Wednesday.

The Rockets had 12 steals and 12 blocks, the first playoff game where they had double figures in both since Game 5 of the 1994 Western Conference finals, just before they went on to win their first title.

"These last few games we hung our hat on defense," Harden said.

Ricky Rubio cut Houston's lead to 94-93 on a jump shot with about a minute left. Houston's P.J. Tucker missed two free throws, but he grabbed a loose ball seconds later and was fouled again. This time he made both shots to make it 96-93.

Harden blocked a shot by Ruby Gobert on Utah's next possession and he made two free throws to extend the lead to 98-93 with 38 seconds left.

Donovan Mitchell, who shot 4-for-22, missed a three-pointer after that and Chris Paul added two more free throws to secure the victory.

"We didn't want to go back to Utah," Paul said.

L.A. Clippers 129, Golden State 121: Lou Williams hit a fadeaway jumper with 1:29 left and finished with 33 points and 10 assists, the Warriors uncharacteristically clanked shots much of the second half and couldn't make key stops, and the Clippers earned their second road victory of the series to stay alive.

No clinch celebration just yet for the two-time defending champions, who lead 3-2 but needed far more than Kevin Durant's playoff career-high 45 points.

"I just think we let our guard down," Golden State coach Steve Kerr said.

Danilo Gallinari added 26 points and seven rebounds, Montrezl Harrell had 24 points and Patrick Beverley took a big charge against Klay Thompson with 1:40 left and scored 17 points for the eighth-seeded Clippers. Game 6 is Friday night in Los Angeles.


• The Pistons' Blake Griffin had arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, an injury that forced him to miss the first two games of the playoffs.