Golden State Warriors Earn First NBA Finals Appearance in 40 Years

By Vincent Frank

It’s been a long time coming for the Golden State Warriors, but they are back in the NBA Finals for the first time in four decades after closing out the Houston Rockets in Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals.

It wasn’t pretty. The Warriors struggled at times. Turnovers kept Houston in the game. But at the end of the night, Steve Kerr’s squad found a way.

They were helped by an absolutely dreadful performance from James Harden. who turned the ball over an NBA Playoff record 13 times while shooting 2-of-11 from the field.

Despite a bad shooting night (7-of-21 from the field), MVP Stephen Curry led the team with 26 points. Harrison Barnes took over when it was needed the most, scoring seven consecutive fourth quarter points and finishing with 24 in the 104-90 win.

Tensions were high throughout the game. Warriors guard Klay Thompson was injured with a knee to the head in the second half, and did not return to the game. Minutes later, Dwight Howard took a cheap shot on Warriors forward¬†Andre Iguodala. It went to review to see if Howard’s actions were flagrant, but the officials called it a common foul.

Overall, Game 5 was an ugly performance all the way around. The two teams combined for 36 turnovers and shot 38 percent from the field.

However, it was Golden State that pulled out the hard-fought win. The Warriors¬†will now take on the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals starting next Thursday in Oakland. It’s the first time that two rookie coaches will meet in the Finals. In addition to this, Stephen Curry and LeBron James have combined for five MVP awards.

It should be fun.

Photo: USA Today Sports