After a shaky start, the Golden State Warriors used a big second quarter to seize control of game 5 and the franchise's first NBA Finals appearance since 1975.
Stephen Curry led the way as usual with 26 points, eight rebounds, six assists and five steals. Harrison Barnes added 24 points and 7 rebounds, which included seven straight points for the Warriors at one point in the fourth quarter. Draymond Green chipped in with nine points and 13 rebounds along with a defensive intensity that is hard to come by. Andrew Bogut snatched 14 rebounds of his own and added two blocked shots.
Klay Thompson used a big second quarter to help give the Warriors a lead at the half but did not return to the game after being kneed in the side of his head by Trevor Ariza early in the fourth quarter. Thompson ended the game with 20 points and was listed with a right ear laceration that required three stitches to patch up. Thankfully Klay did not need to go through any concussion tests to return back to the bench.
Festus Ezeli gave the Warriors huge minutes off the bench by scoring 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds in 28 minutes of work. The Warriors bench were a combined plus 41 in efficiency (+/-) compared to the Rockets bench who were negative 40.
MVP runner-up James Harden had possibly one of the worst games of his career in which he only scored 14 points on 2 of 11 shooting from the field, as well as an NBA playoff record 13 turnovers. Dwight Howard scored 18 points and gobbled up 16 rebounds. Trevor Ariza had 15 points, six rebounds and 4 assists in the Rockets final game of the season.
The Warriors will host the Cleveland Cavaliers at Oracle Arena next Thursday, June 4th for game 1 of the 2015 NBA Finals.
Check back tomorrow morning for a more in-depth analysis from the Warriors game 5 victory over the Houston Rockets.
LETS GO DUBS!