NBA Western Conference FinalsOAKLAND: Breaking down the Golden State Warriors’ 104-90 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night that gave them the Western Conference finals win by a 4-1 margin.

The Warriors reached the NBA Finals, which is something that hasn’t been said or written in four decades. That Golden State team was able to finish the job, with Rick Barry & Co. sweeping the Washington Bullets in just their third season in Oakland after moving from San Francisco.

The modern-day version got there by way of a slop-fest against the Houston Rockets that counted as a series-deciding victory nonetheless, as they will now face the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals. The Warriors started to pull away in the third quarter, using a 7-0 run to lead 74-65, and keeping the reckless Rockets at bay from there.

Just one game after giving up 128 points to Houston, the Warriors’ defense got the job done in this one as the Rockets shot 35.1%. James Harden, who was such a force in Houston’s Game 4 win with his 45-point outing, had his worst game of the year at the worst possible time.

The poor shooting would have been bad enough, as Harden hit 2 of 10 shots in 44 minutes. Then there was the defense, with Harden letting Warriors shooting guard Klay Thompson get loose for an efficient 20-point night (8 of 14 shooting). But Chef Harden treated the ball as if he were grabbing a hot plate with no gloves, turning the ball over a remarkable 13 times and setting a new league record for giveaways in a playoff game. The previous record holder was “Super” John Williamson.

Curry said he had no lingering effects from his frightening fall in Game 4 that left him with a bruised head and right side. The MVP wore a protective yellow sleeve on his right arm, which he shed in the third quarter after shooting 4 for 12 and the Warriors clinging to a 52-46 halftime lead.

Things got tougher on Curry and the Warriors when backcourt mate Thompson faked a shot that drew Trevor Ariza in the air early in the fourth quarter. Thompson absorbed Ariza’s knee to the side of his head, sending him to the floor.

NBA Playoffs LogoThompson, who finished with 20 points, lay on the ground for a minute before walking to the locker room. He came back to the bench after receiving stitches on his right ear.

Barnes highlighted the decisive spurt with a dunk that gave Golden State an 87-72 lead with 7:10 remaining. He flexed his muscles to the sellout crowd of 19,596, which spent the final quarter on its feet in anticipation of a celebration a generation in the works.

The Warriors rolled to a franchise-record 67 wins in the regular season and had little trouble dispatching New Orleans, Memphis and Houston in the playoffs. Now they’re in the finals for the first time since winning the title in 1975 behind Rick Barry and coach Attles, who enjoyed the game sitting in his usual spot at the top of the arena’s lower bowl.

Result: Golden State Warriors 104 beat Houston Rockets 90


















Conference Finals Series

Golden State Warriors beat Houston Rockets 4-1

Game 1: Golden State Warriors 110 Houston Rockets 106

Game 2: Golden State Warriors 99 Houston Rockets 98

Game 3: Golden State Warriors 115 Houston Rockets 80 

Game 4: Houston Rockets 128 Golden State Warriors 115 

Game 5: Golden State Warriors 104 Houston Rockets 90

Vishnu Ravi Shankar
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