OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry had 26 points and eight rebounds, Harrison Barnes added 24 points and the Golden State Warriors advanced to the NBA finals for the first time in 40 years with a 104-90 victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

After decades of wishing and waiting for this moment, the Warriors finally arrived. They shook off a slow start and sweated out a shaky finish in Game 5 to close out the Rockets and set up a matchup with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers beginning June 4.

All five Rockets starters scored at least 10 points, but James Harden had a forgettable finale. Harden had a playoff-record 13 turnovers and scored 14 points on 2-of-11 shooting.

Dwight Howard led Houston with 18 points and 16 rebounds.

“We deserve to celebrate tonight but we’ve still got unfinished business and it’s a long time coming for the Bay Area,” Klay Thompson of the Warriors said.

Curry said he had no lingering effects from his frightening fall in Game 4 that left him with a bruised head and right side. He wore a protective yellow sleeve on his right arm, which he shed in the third quarter after shooting 4 of 12 and the Warriors clinging to a 52-46 halftime lead.

Things got tougher on Curry when Thompson faked a shot that drew Trevor Ariza in the air early in the fourth quarter. Thompson absorbed Ariza’s knee to the side of his head, sending him to the floor.

Thompson, who finished with 20 points, lay on the ground for a minute before walking to the locker room. He came back to the bench with what the team called a right ear laceration.

The Warriors said he could have returned but they never needed him. They started the fourth on a 13-4 run and held off Houston’s last-ditch efforts on free throws.

NOTES

PELICANS: A person familiar with the situation said New Orleans interviewed Jeff Van Gundy for the club’s vacant head coaching job.

Monty Williams was fired as coach on May 12.

Van Gundy has a 430-318 record in 10-plus seasons with New York and Houston.

Warriors Coach Steve Kerr confirmed that his assistant, former NBA head coach Alvin Gentry, also has interviewed with New Orleans.

HAWKS: Guard Kyle Korver is facing a recovery period of three months after having surgery to repair ligament damage in his right ankle.

The NBA’s best 3-point shooter in the regular season, Korver was injured in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals when he was scrambling for a loose ball and his ankle was rolled on by Matthew Dellavedova of Cleveland.


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