Sometimes, you gotta admit what is plain to see, and here’s what everybody sees: The Rockets are better than the Jazz.

A lot better.

How’s that for analysis? Not great. But it is a great truth.

What the Jazz needed most to win Game 4 was for unusual, odd, strange and perplexing to get into a fortuitous four-vehicle pileup at the corner of 300 West and South Temple on Sunday evening. Instead, the intersection stayed clear. And the Rockets drove through with normal.

The Jazz, then, got the opposite of what was required.

They got roughed up, they got scored on, they got offensive inefficiency, they got a load of their own missed shots, they got defeat.

And they gave, too. They gave Houston a clear shot at advancing to the next round by way of a 100-87 win, a result that tilted the count in this series to a 3-1 deficit, with Game 5 coming on the Rockets’ home floor Tuesday night.

You know what that means.

Here’s the thing: None of this should be embarrassing to the Jazz.

They had hoped for a bounce-back performance in Game 4, for a different effort than what happened in the third game, when the Rockets crushed Utah. While this game was more of a dusting, it was enough of a loss to make the Jazz wonder what kind of collision it would take to rearrange the inevitable. Beating what Quin Snyder called “the best team in the league” in three out of the remaining three possible contests is a stretch of the imagination that has no elasticity.

Still, the loss was honorable.

The Jazz climbed back from a deep deficit in the fourth quarter, urged on by the home crowd. In those minutes, a team that is not as talented, not as explosive, not as favored as the Rockets made a push that represented the resilience they’ve shown for months now. Being down 19 points late was not unlike sitting at 19-28 in January, and keeping faith alive for a run at the playoffs.

But here, they could not close the gap.

“That game could have easily been a blowout,” Snyder said afterward. “We just hung in there … eventually we couldn’t get over the hill.”

The Jazz’s play was anything but flawless. It was better than what happened on Friday, but clearly insufficient for the extraordinary — sending the series into a best-of-three mode that would have had a Game 7 splashed all over it.

Barring the aforementioned miracle, the loss sealed their fate as a nice, surprising outfit that went beyond expectations in the 2017-18 season, that introduced and unleashed a promising rookie on the league, and that has a lot to look forward to … next season.

Not this one.

Donovan Mitchell (25 points) got a standing ovation when he was replaced in the last minute, the immediate cause lost.

None of the Jazz players took consolation in anything with work yet to do, with a game yet to play.

“We haven’t been as connected,” Mitchell said. “… There are a lot of things we can clean up.”

All the regulars played through the loss. A notable difference was at power forward, where Jae Crowder (five points on 1-for-11 shooting) started in place of Derrick Favors. The move was camouflaged by a Favors injury, but age-old questions about the workability of the Rudy Gobert-Favors thing, a combo that has been OK on occasions, but struggled in this series, have risen again.

Snyder praised Favors for his gutty attempt to play here. Gobert, though, struggled, logging a minus-27 while on the floor.

It was thought the hamstrung Ricky Rubio might be able to go in this game. But his return was postponed a few hours before the opening tip. And the Jazz missed him.

“He’s just not there,” Snyder said.

With Mitchell running the show, the ball did move a bit again in the Jazz attack. But there were moments of frustration, resembling what happened in the third game, when the Jazz were pushed off their preferred spots, resulting in poor possessions and bad shots. This time, all told, the Jazz shot 38 percent, 24 percent from deep.

“We missed 22 shots at the rim,” Snyder said. “We had our chances and didn’t convert. … To beat them, you have to convert those.”

You have to convert darn near everything.

The truth remains: The Jazz lost to a superior opponent. Nobody can blame them for that. They are what they are, an incomplete team with hope for a better team, a better tomorrow.

GORDON MONSON hosts “The Big Show” weekdays from 3-7 p.m. on 97.5 FM and 1280 AM The Zone.