Basketball: Warriors eliminate Pelicans in Game 5

Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr

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. "Nobody answers a home phone anymore".

Curry led the scoring for the reigning National Basketball Association champion Warriors in a 113-104 victory over the New Orleans Pelicans in Oakland, sealing the best-of-seven series 4-1.

Chris Paul will play in his first conference final game after leading the top-seeded Rockets to a 112-102 game-five win over the Utah Jazz.

Curry, who returned for Game 2 after almost six weeks out with a knee injury, knocked down an open 3-pointer midway through the third and raised his hands to get the crowd going, then made another less than two minutes later.

"You can't believe the hype", Warriors guard Klay Thompson said beforehand.

At least Alvin Gentry still has his sense of humor after the Golden State Warriors eliminated his New Orleans Pelicans.

Since somewhere around Thanksgiving, the Warriors and Rockets have been on a collision course.

He averaged 24.5 in those games (44.1% from three-point range), with none better than his 28-point, eight-assists, seven-rebound outing in Game 5.

It might seem expected that Durant and Thompson would shoot well, even when accounting for their recent off nights.

Curry has his swagger and stroke back now that he has played four games following almost six weeks on the sidelines with a sprained left knee.

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During Tuesday's morning shootaround, though, Kerr reported Curry telling him that he "has no pain in his knee".

"He was unbelievable", Harden said afterward.

"I have the mindset as if I'm all the way back". Like I've said before, all that stuff is cool. "For the most part, as long as my mind is telling me I can keep going, I can do what I want to do on the floor".

"In my head when I'm out there, (I'm) just trying to play free and not worry about anything and continue to try to get my rhythm on both ends and keep moving, Curry said after Game 5".

On Tuesday, Curry kept getting better.

The teams were then rushed back from a Friday night to a Sunday afternoon for Game 4, during which the Pelicans shot just 4 of 26 on 3-pointers after having scorched the nets for 14 of 31 in the Game 3 win.

In the second quarter, Holiday shoved Curry hard into the basket, enraging the two-time MVP who let the officials know how upset he was by the push and no call.

Before and after, Curry made a handful of shots easily that included right and left-handed layups as well as a 30-foot pull-up jumper.

The fit-again Curry played 37 minutes, and was heavily involved in a devastating burst of scoring in the third quarter which ultimately took the game away from the Pelicans.

New Orleans, who had prevented a clean sweep with a victory in game four on Sunday, had produced a battling first half performance to trail by only 59-56 at the break. "And with a month or hopefully six weeks or seven weeks left in the season, I think I should be able to get to the finish line".

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