Warriors slay Pelicans to set up Rockets Conference Finals

Sherman Parsons
May 10, 2018

There's no way this postseason can go as brilliantly as the last one. "Got to go out there and play".

Now comes the next and most daunting test in this quest for a repeat.

Curry played his most minutes since missing almost six weeks with a knee injury, finishing with 28 points and helping the Golden State Warriors advance to the Western Conference finals for a fourth straight year by dismantling Anthony Davis and the New Orleans Pelicans 113-104 in Game 5 on Tuesday night.

"You can't believe the hype", Warriors guard Klay Thompson said beforehand. Of course LeBron James and Kyrie Irving were phenomenal, but when breaking down why the Warriors fell short, a common rationale is repeated ad nauseam: "Well, Steph wasn't himself".

And for good reason. "But both teams still have a job to do". And after Houston beat Golden State 122-121 on opening night of the season, that prompted Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni to turn that phrase back around on Green.

Golden State has succeeded playing big and small. Harden, whose only trip to the Finals came with Oklahoma City in 2012 when the Durant-Russell Westbrook Thunder lost to Miami, had the worst finish of any star player in the 2017 playoffs in the second-round loss to San Antonio. We got a goal, whoever is in the way of the goal, we got to see you, you got to see us. Klay Thompson added 23 points for the Warriors, who with a 15th straight home playoff win tied Chicago for an National Basketball Association record.

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"I dial people on my rotary phone".

"We're going to need some contributions from our bench", Kerr said. "Nobody answers from the landline anymore". What was less certain: how well Curry would make progress in his fourth game since returning from a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee that sidelined him for 4 ½ weeks. He played 37 minutes in the clincher and the entire fourth quarter. Gentry said Rondo was bothered by a groin injury. "Their obsession, or whatever you want to call it, it is what it is..." Scoring has never been a problem.

"I'm looking forward to the opportunity for us to go start a series somewhere else and not so much where we're at home, like you said, protecting, just trying not to give up a game". "Defense requires a mentality and a spirit and a unity and sense of objective from the five guys on the floor". But we didn't try to look past whoever we played that night to think about Houston.

Paul had been in the conference semifinals four other times before finally getting over the hump this season. They have learned over recent seasons how to elevate the level when the playoffs arrive. "When the letdown happens, how do you respond?" "I think it will be very entertaining".

A chance to decimate a dynasty, to unseat the defending champs and get one step closer to winning the franchise's first crown since those Hakeem Olajuwon-led teams in 1994 and 1995 - not to mention get his money's worth after paying a then-league record $2.2 billion for the team in early September. He also had two key baskets in the closing minutes.

"They got us. We got them", Green said. "He's been playing wonderful this whole playoff run, taking the challenge defensively whoever he is guarding, being an officiator on offense, knocking down shots".

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