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Warriors vs. Rockets game 5 preview: Bringing it all back home

After a disappointing loss to the Rockets in Houston, the Warriors look to clinch a berth to the NBA Finals at home tonight.

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors are 45-3 at Oracle Arena this season.

The Houston Rockets haven't managed to win in Oakland since 2013.

When the game tips off at 6:00 PM (Pacific), none of that will matter.

Stephen Curry's MVP award won't matter. Andrew Bogut and Draymond Green's places on the NBA All Defensive teams won't  matter, and neither will Klay Thompson and Steph Curry's All NBA team selections.

The Rockets' 45 point first quarter from last game won't matter either, nor will the 165 free throw attempts that James Harden has taken so far in this postseason.

The Warriors clinched their first round series against the Pelicans in New Orleans, sweeping Anthony Davis's squad 4-0. They beat Marc Gasol's Grizzlies in six games, wrapping up the series in Memphis. Save a few travelling Warriors faithful and displaced ex-Californians (as well as an ever-growing bandwagon), Warriors fans have had to watch the team advance from the comfort of their living rooms or local watering holes.

The last time the Warriors had the opportunity to clinch a series at home, they upset the #3 seeded Denver Nuggets in the first round of the 2013 playoffs. Before that, We Believe clinched against the Dallas Mavericks in 2007. Run TMC clinched at home in 1991 against David Robinson's Spurs, and the team closed out a series at home against the Jazz back in 1987. The good news about that is the Warriors have won their last four closeout games at home. The bad news is that those four series represent most of the Warriors postseason success over the last 30 years.

The Warriors haven't lost an attempt to clinch a series at home since the Phoenix Suns beat them in game 7 of the Western Conference Finals way back in 1976.

None of that matters now.

One piece of history might affect the game, and that's the Warriors 67-15 regular season record. That effort led to home court advantage throughout the playoffs, which means the Warriors have the opportunity to clinch the series tonight in front of nearly 20,000 rabid Warriors fans.

Curry is healthy. Howard isn't getting suspended. The top two teams in the West are facing off for what promises to be another classic battle between two gunslinging offenses. There are compelling stories everywhere, from Harden vs. Curry to Dwight vs. Bogut to Green vs. Smith. Even the two states seem like natural rivals.

The NBA Finals are just one win away. The Warriors haven't played in the Finals since I was two years old.

Are you ready, Warriors fans?

I am. I've been waiting for this my whole life.

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