Saturday 24 February 2018 / 08:49 PM

Warriors, Cavs advance to NBA Finals

Golden State Warriors 104–90 Houston Rockets

Top-seeded Golden State Warriors booked a place in the NBA Finals after winning game 5 against the Houston Rockets, wrapping up the series 4-1. After a nerve-racking first half, the Warriors took control at the end of the third quarter to win the game and advance to the Finals for the first time in four decades.

Houston tried to prolong the series, but a horrendous night from James Harden and the inability to keep the Warriors off the offensive boards (19 offensive rebounds) was too much to overcome. Harden was 2-for-11 from the field for only 14 points, and he set an all-time NBA playoff record by turning the ball over an astonishing 13 times.

Player of the series was without a doubt Stephen Curry. The MVP of the regular season averaged 31 points and 5.6 assists and was particularly efficient from the floor, shooting almost 50% from behind the arc (27-of-55) and 51.5% overall.

Cleveland Cavaliers 118–88 Atlanta Hawks

The Cavaliers wanted to take care of business as soon as possible, coming out focused and with determination to start game 4 in an attempt to sweep the Hawks and return to the Finals for the first time since 2007. They took an early double-digit lead in the first quarter and never looked back in a game that turned into a real blowout (118-88), resulting in a 4-0 sweep. For the fourth straight time in this series, Atlanta was outrebounded and had less assists than the Cavaliers – remarkable numbers given the Hawks had been a pass-first team all season.

With the absence of Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving (for the majority of the series), Lebron James stepped up and led this young, inexperienced Cavaliers team in truly dominant fashion. James led his team in almost all statistical categories, averaging 30.3 points, 11 rebounds, 9.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game in the conference finals.

The Cavaliers and the Warriors will have a week off before the start of the NBA finals. The Cavaliers, in particular, will be grateful for the time off, as they need a fully healthy Irving to go toe-to-toe with Curry.

[YouTube – NBA]

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Tim Glibert

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