Jazz center Rudy Gobert blocked James Harden’s layup, then denied Clint Capela’s shot. The opening sequence Sunday showed the Jazz would offer more resistance to Houston in Game 4 of the Western Conference semifinals than in Game 3 on Friday night.

The best that could be said about the home team’s performance in the end, though? Nice try.

The Jazz summoned an inspired effort at Vivint Smart Home Arena, but this outcome was not different enough than Game 3: Rockets 100, Jazz 87.

Having trailed by 19 points, the Jazz got within five in the middle of the fourth quarter before Capela scored a putback and Trevor Ariza hit a 3-pointer to stop the threat. “That was hard-fought; that was a tough one,” Houston coach Mike D’Antoni could say, without sounding condescending.

The Jazz’s display of heart “says a lot about who they are,” coach Quin Snyder said, making this exercise far more redeeming than a 26-point loss to Golden State in an elimination Game 4 of the West semis last May. Yet this whole theme merely illustrates the discrepancy in offensive talent.

Not even holding James Harden to 10 points over the last three quarters could help the Jazz overcome their own 38.6-percent shooting from the field. The coaching staff’s statistics showed 22 misses around the rim in 45 attempts.

“We missed shots that we normally make,” Donovan Mitchell said.

The Jazz somehow scored 116 points in their Game 2 stunner in Houston, but haven’t come close to that number otherwise: 96 in Game 1, 92 in Game 3 and 87 in Game 4. That’s the issue we all wondered about when this season started, right?

So a playoff run that has lasted longer than anyone would imagined as of July or even January likely will end Tuesday without the Jazz making another home appearance. They couldn’t score sufficiently to match Houston’s firepower and Gobert lacked impact in comparison with Capela, other than his initial show of force Sunday. These numbers occasionally are misleading, but Houston outscored the Jazz by 27 points with Gobert on the court; the Jazz had a 14-point edge while Derrick Favors played limited minutes with a sore ankle.

Chris Paul (27 points) and his Houston teammates answered every threat, even after Mitchell’s driving gave the Jazz life in the second quarter and they rallied in the fourth period. Injured point guard Ricky Rubio may have made some difference in this series, but not enough.

Mitchell was despondent after his Game 3 showing, and Snyder said, “I could not be more satisfied in the way he responded.” Even in scoring 25 points Sunday, though, Mitchell went 8 of 24 from the field, barely topping his percentage for the series.

This stuff never ends well. In the absence of a miracle Tuesday, the Jazz will have lost their final home game for a 10th straight postseason, a run of unsatisfying conclusions that began in 2001. The Jazz’s health is not helping the cause. Rubio missed a fourth straight game with a hamstring injury and Dante Exum exited with his own hamstring trouble in the third quarter, after foul trouble short-circuited his nice start.

Exum scored nine points in the first quarter. At one stage, subtracting his 4-of-5 shooting, the Jazz were 6 of 24.

Take your pick: The biggest surprise of this series is either that the Jazz won Game 2 in Houston, or they couldn’t win either Game 3 or Game 4 in Salt Lake City. The way they responded to the home crowd’s support during three victories in the first-round series vs. Oklahoma City inspired belief that the Jazz were capable of splitting the weekend’s games with Houston.

The Rockets are too good for that to happen, or the Jazz are not good enough. Or both.