Golden State Warriors march on after conquering Portland Trail Blazers in game five to advance to western conference finals
California outfit run out 125-121 winners to make fourth conference finals since relocating
Klay Thompson’s sweet shooting touch carried the Warriors while Stephen Curry was down, and together again in the starting lineup the Splash Brothers led Golden State back to the western conference finals.
Thompson scored 33 points with six 3-pointers, Curry added 29 and sealed it with a 3 with 24.9 seconds left, and Golden State advanced to the west finals for the second straight season with a 125-121 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in game five on Wednesday night.
Curry finished with five 3s a day after becoming the first unanimous MVP in NBA history. He added 11 assists after returning to the starting lineup for the first time all series because of a knee injury.
Draymond Green, who had his left ankle re-taped in the fourth quarter, had 13 points, 11 rebounds and six assists after guaranteeing Golden State would advance from this game.
Damian Lillard scored 28 points and CJ McCollum had 27 for the Trail Blazers.
The Warriors got past Portland playing without Curry for the first three games as he recovered from a sprained right knee.
Now, Golden State will wait for the conclusion of the Oklahoma City-San Antonio series, led 3-2 by the Thunder. And the banged-up Warriors could use the time to get healthy.
They lost 7-foot centre Andrew Bogut for the second half because of a right leg injury.
Thompson shot 13 for 17 and became the first player to have at least five 3s in seven straight games, also recording his fourth 30-point game this postseason. Marreese Speights provided key minutes off the bench and made a 3-pointer with 8:19 to play after a layup the previous possession.
“Klay’s shooting was incredible tonight,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said.
Curry’s 3-pointer to beat the third-quarter buzzer gave Golden State a 93-91 lead heading into the final 12 minutes, then the Warriors made sure their raucous crowd at Oracle Arena got to celebrate another series-clincher after they eliminated Houston at home – also winning that best-of-seven series 4-1.
The Trail Blazers were 16 of 36 on 3-pointers and unlike their game two loss at Oracle Arena stayed in this one all 48 minutes.
Allen Crabbe, who played at the University of California in nearby Berkeley, scored 20 points.
Curry’s first points came at the 5:29 mark of the first quarter and then he got Golden State right back in it on one wild sequence.
He missed a long 3 off the front rim, Leandro Barbosa got the rebound and tried a backward pass to Curry that the point guard had to save. The ball went to Bogut, who turned toward the baseline and handed off to Curry from close range and buried a 3 over his tall teammate with 4:34 to go.
Green, who blocked a career-high seven shots in game four on Monday, made good on his declaration to eliminate Portland.
After game four, he said: “Do I think they’re done? Of course I think they’re done,” which he later acknowledged wasn’t meant as disrespect but rather to fuel his own team.
Curry started for the first time since game four of the first round at Houston, the day he slipped on a wet spot and sprained his knee. He came off the bench in a 132-125 overtime win in game four and scored an NBA-record 17 points in the extra period on the way to 40.
Last year, on May 5, 2015, the Warriors lost their next game the day after Curry was named MVP – falling 97-90 at home to Memphis as Curry went 7 for 19, including 3 of 11 on 3s, for 19 points.
Lillard, an Oakland native, was 7-for-24 shooting in his final game of the season back home in the East Bay.