OAKLAND, Calif. - Stephen Curry had 26 points and eight rebounds, Harrison Barnes added 24 points and the Golden State Warriors advanced to the NBA Finals for the first time in 40 years with a 104-90 victory over the Houston Rockets Wednesday night.
After decades of wishing and waiting for this moment, the Warriors have finally arrived. They shook off a slow start and sweated out a shaky finish in Game 5 to close out the Rockets and set up a matchup with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers beginning June 4.
All five Rockets starters scored at least 10 points, but MVP runner-up James Harden had a forgettable finale. Harden had a playoff-record 13 turnovers and scored 14 points on 2-of-11 shooting.
Dwight Howard led Houston with 18 points and 16 rebounds.
Yellow streams and confetti fell from the rafters when the final buzzer sounded. The Warriors shared hugs and handshakes, and the crowd chanted "M-V-P!" for Curry, who relished the moment on the court with his 2-year-old daughter, Riley.
"We deserve to celebrate tonight but we've still got unfinished business and it's a long time coming for the Bay Area," All-Star Klay Thompson said.
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
Now it's LeBron vs. Curry.
King James vs. the Baby-Faced Assassin.
The four-time NBA MVP vs. the newly crowned MVP.