The Rockets advanced to the Western Conference semifinals for the third consecutive season with the win. Houston edged the Jazz with its defensive effort, recording 12 steals and 12 blocks. It was the first playoff contest in which the Rockets tallied double figures in both since Game 5 of the 1994 Western Conference finals. Houston won an NBA championship in that same year.
"We didn't make as many shots as we wanted to offensively, but these last few games we hung our hat on defense," Harden told reporters. "And that's what's going to get us to our goal. The shot making is extra as a bonus for guarding like we're guarding."
Harden had a game-high 26 points with six assists, six rebounds, four blocks and three steals. Chris Paul recorded 15 points, eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Houston big man Clint Capela, who was battling an upper respiratory infection, registered 16 points, 10 rebounds and three rejections. Eric Gordon added 15 points, two steals, three assists and three boards.
Royce O'Neale led the Jazz with 18 points in 33 minutes off the bench. Ricky Rubio had a double-double with 17 points and 11 assists. Donovan Mitchell had 12 points on 4-of-22 shooting, including a 0-for-9 mark from 3-point range.
Jae Crowder also provided a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Rudy Gobert had nine points and 10 boards.