Warriors To Face Rockets In Western Conference Finals

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"You could see it in his eyes".

Back on January 20, on that memorable night when the Houston Rockets' rookie owner would celebrate a win over the vaunted Golden State Warriors, he stood inside a Toyota Center suite and discussed the dream scenario that now lies before his team. Guys scrapped, they defended aw well as they could, the team showed promise.

The Golden State Warriors became the third team to punch their ticket to the conference finals after the Cleveland Cavaliers did on Monday and the Houston Rockets finished up just before a Game 5 113-104 win over the New Orleans Pelicans to close up the series. "I know the Lakers went 15-1, they had a similar kind of joy ride where very little adversity, but that's the extreme exception". A series win over the Rockets would make them a heavy favorite to win their third National Basketball Association championship in four seasons. "I think we're all going to be surprised".

Here are three takeaways from the Dubs closeout victory in Game 5.

What's that saying about how 80 percent of life is showing up? That's no disrespect to the East; that's just reality given the seasons that the Warriors and Rockets have had, and the collision course that seemed so inevitable for either to avoid. But after missing almost six weeks with a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee, Curry clocked in for four games of the second round against the Pelicans. Draymond Green had 19 points with 14 rebounds and nine assists. More importantly, he looked spry and offered no complaints about pain or limitations from the knee. If he's not 100 percent, he's certainly doing a great job hiding it.

"If he can play 37 minutes in a playoff game then I think he's okay", Kerr said.

"Yeah, I feel good. But your body obviously sometimes has a mind of its own", Curry said. "Really, all the starters are playing real heavy minutes".

His presence is a game-changer when it comes to the sheer star power in this series.

Alvin Gentry preached pre-game about stopping Golden State's monster runs.

This is the matchup the Rockets have longed for.

"Every series you play, it gets harder and harder and harder", said Warriors guard Stephen Curry, who is seeking a fourth straight trip to the NBA Finals and third ring in four years.

And they did just that.

On the other side, you have the well-chronicled postseason failings of James Harden and Chris Paul that will either weigh them down or inspire them to break through. It has pushed the pace and dealt with San Antonio slowing things way down.

Anthony Davis, playing in the second round for the first time in his career, scored 34 points. His desire to play for it all had everything to do with his move to Houston last summer, and this is his chance to follow through.

Draymond Green almost had a triple-double, scoring 19 points, grabbing 14 rebounds and dishing out nine assists. Before Durant arrived, Paul's Clippers outlasted Golden State in seven games during the 2014 first round.

The Warriors dominated the game both offensively and defensively, the latter having been a key to their run to two championships in the last three seasons. The Warriors were 29-12 on the road. It doesn't matter to us who we play. But we're definitely looking forward to it. You got to see us. However, we got them.

After Curry took a shot to the nose early in the game, Warriors trainer Drew Yoder gave Curry tissues to stop the bleeding.

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