May 28, 2015 / 4:49 AM / in 2 years

Warriors into Finals after 40 year wait

(Reuters) - The Golden State Warriors shook off their bumps and bruises and advanced to their first NBA Finals in 40 years after defeating the Houston Rockets 104-90 to clinch their Western Conference Finals series on Wednesday.

May 27, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; (Editor's Note: Caption Correction) Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) celebrates with the western conference championship trophy after defeating the Houston Rockets in game five of the Western Conference Finals of the NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Stephen Curry scored 26 points one game after a terrifying fall while Klay Thompson added 20 despite a laceration to his right ear for the top-seeded Warriors.

Golden State, who won 67 games during the regular season with rookie coach Steve Kerr, won the best-of-seven series 4-1.

The Warriors will meet the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals that starts next week. It is their first trip to the finals since 1975.

The Rockets had won Game Four of the series on Monday to avoid being swept, but were outscored 35-24 in the second quarter on Wednesday and played catch up the rest of the way.

Dwight Howard led the Rockets with 18 points and 16 rebounds, while James Harden, who scored 45 points on Monday, made just 2-of-11 shots and had 14 points to go with 13 turnovers.

Writing by Jahmal Corner in Los Angeles; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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