NBA playoffs 2019: Rockets’ Clint Capela playing through illness

Clint Capela has not been at full strength in the Rockets’ first-round series.

The 24-year-old center missed practice before Game 1 against the Jazz because he was sick and was later diagnosed with a pair of respiratory illnesses.

“It’s tough,” Capela told ESPN on Monday. “Especially when I try to breathe, it’s hard. I’m just going to fight it the best that I can.”

Capela tallied 16 points and grabbed 12 rebounds in his team’s Game 1 win but his production has dropped since. He scored four points on just 1-of-6 shooting in Houston’s loss in Utah on Monday.

Rockets coach Mike D’Antoni said he’s hopeful Capela will make a full recovery soon.

“He’s trying to battle through it,” D’Antoni said, via the Houston Chronicle. “I think he’s been great because he’s been able to play. Each day that passes, the virus passes and he’ll feel better. Hopefully next game, he’s back to almost 100 (percent).”

Capela averaged a career-high 16.6 points and 12.7 rebounds in 33.6 minutes per game this season. He shot 64.8% from the field and a much improved 63.6% from the free throw line.

The Rockets will face the Jazz in Game 5 at the Toyota Center on Wednesday. They’ll enter that matchup with a 3-1 series lead.