OAKLAND, California – The series that has been craving the basketball world for months is finally becoming reality. The Golden State Warriors and the Houston Rockets will compete in the Western Conference finals.
The Warriors took care of their part on Tuesday night, knocking the New Orleans Pelicans 113-104 in Game 5, securing a 4-1 win in the conference semi-final. As usual, Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were 52 points, 13 rebounds and 15 assists. Draymond Green had almost a triple-double, scoring 19 points, taking 14 rebounds and giving nine assists.
After a close first half, the Warriors ended the game with a 25-4 run to start the third quarter as they did in a Game 4 victory in New Orleans. The Warriors' dominance was in full swing during this stretch as they beat the pelicans in the area 36:1
The Warriors face the Rockets before the big showdown, but they have to like what they have seen on the defensive in the last two games of this series. Steve Kerr's group reminded the rest of the league that when it ends on the defensive, it's incredibly hard to beat. Most importantly, the Warriors must love how Curry responds after coming back from a sprained MCL injury in Game 2. The former MVP was 10-by-16 from the field and seemed to be jumping on the floor on Tuesday night.
For the pelicans, the loss ends, which is going to be one of the most successful seasons in franchise history. Anthony Davis finished the season with a bang with 34 points and 19 rebounds, while Jrue Holiday had a triple-double with 27 points, 10 rebounds and 11 assists.
The pelicans now have to decide what they will do with unrestricted free agent DeMarcus cousins this summer, as he seeks to recover from an Achilles tendon injury and find out if they can bring veteran point guard Rajon Rondo back. The future is bright for a New Orleans group that conquered the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round and is driven by the fact that Davis is getting into his prime at the age of 25.
The stage is now ready for the Warriors to win their fourth NBA final appearance. Curry, Durant, Green, Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala create the kind of success most players can only dream of. They track the story every time they hit the ground on the biggest basketball court. A series victory over the Rockets would make her a big favorite to win her third NBA championship in four seasons.
Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals is Monday.