LeBron will become the ninth player in NBA history to participate in five consecutive NBA Finals. He won two with the Miami Heat in his four years away from home, defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs, and falling to the Spurs and Dallas Mavericks. James will look to bring the Cavs their first NBA title and end the drought that began in 1964.
Jeff Teague scored 17 points and Paul Millsap added 16 for the short-handed Hawks, who were competing in their first Conference Finals since 1970. They were coming off a regular season where they won an east-leading 60 games. That included becoming the first team in NBA history to go 17-0 in a calendar month in January, improved their win total by 22 from last season, won 19 straight, and beat the Brooklyn Nets and Washington Wizards in the first two rounds.
J.R. Smith contributed 18 points, while Tristan Thompson had a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds in the clinching victory.
In what has been deemed the loudest arena in the NBA, the Golden State Warriors were looking to overcome scares in consecutive games involving the "Splash Brothers". They had plenty to celebrate about on Wednesday night, as they took down the Houston Rockets 104-90 in game 5 for a 4-1 series win, clinching they Western Conference Title. Stephen Curry led the way with 26 points, while Harrison Barnes added 24 in the win.
The Warriors advance to their first NBA Finals since 1975, the year they won it all under coach Alvin Attles.
Dwight Howard had a double-double of 18 points and 16 rebounds, while James Harden committed a playoff-record 13 turnovers and scored just 14 points on 2-of-11 shooting. The Rockets' season comes to an end after taking down the Mavericks in the first round, and then coming back from a 3-1 deficit to stun the Los Angeles Clippers in the second round.
Klay Thompson went down in the fourth quarter, taking an accidental knee to the head by Trevor Ariza. The slick shooter went down holding his head, bleeding from the ear, and missed the rest of the game. He passed initial concussion tests, but many say he was showing symptoms of a concussion after the game. He finished the game with 20 points and returned to the bench after receiving stitches in his ear.
Golden State was able to pull away late with a 13-4 run to begin the final quarter. Curry removed a sleeve late in the game after getting off to a 4-of-12 start from the field. Barnes took over in the fourth, extending the lead to 15 to get the crowd of 19,596 on their feet.
Next stop, the NBA Finals against LeBron's Cavaliers. The two teams split the two meetings during the regular season, with James missing the Cavs' loss. The Warriors are favored in the series, and come in as six-points favorites for the opening game. Game 1 of the series will take place in Oakland on Thursday, June 4th.