Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (C) goes to the basket for two points against the Portland Trail Blazers during their NBA Western Conference semifinal game five at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, on May 11, 2016. The Warriors defeated the Trail Blazers 125 - 121 to advance to the NBA Western Conference Finals. Pool photo by John G. Mabanglo/UPI | License Photo
OAKLAND, Calif. -- Stephen Curry bombed in a 3-pointer with 24.9 seconds remaining Wednesday night, helping the Golden State Warriors hold off the Portland Trail Blazers 125-121 and win the Western Conference semifinal playoff series four games to one.
In advancing to the Western finals for the second year in a row, the Warriors await the winner of the Oklahoma City Thunder-San Antonio Spurs semifinal.
Should the Thunder eliminate the Spurs in Game 6 on Thursday night, the best-of-seven Western finals would begin Monday night in Oakland.
The downside for Golden State was that two starters got injured. Forward Draymond Green sustained a mild left ankle sprain, and center Andrew Bogut was diagnosed with a moderate strained left adductor muscle. Green figures to be fine, but Bogut might be questionable for the start of the next series.
The fifth-seeded Trail Blazers gave the top-seeded Warriors a battle in Game 5, leading early by as many as 11 and hanging within 118-116 with the basketball inside the final 50 seconds of the game.
However, Klay Thompson harassed Portland star Damian Lillard into a miss from 17 feet, and Curry, freeing himself above the top of the key, nailed a 25-footer for the backbreaking hoop that put Golden State up 121-116.
Curry capped a 29-point night with four free throws in the final 18.2 seconds, helping Golden State record its eighth victory in 10 playoff games this year.
Thompson led the Warriors with 33 points, hitting 13 of 17 from the field and six of nine 3-point attempts.
Curry's 29 points were a result of 10-for-20 shooting, including 5-for-11 on 3-pointers. In his first start since spraining a ligament in his right knee during the first-round series against the Houston Rockets, he went 36 minutes and found time for a game-high 11 assists.
Green added a 13-point, 11-rebound double-double, and Shaun Livingston added 10 points for the Warriors, who have won seven straight at home over the Trail Blazers.
Lillard topped Portland with 28 points, but he shot just 7-for-24. He also had seven rebounds and seven assists.
Backcourt mate CJ McCollum came alive in the fourth quarter to finish with 27 points on 11-for-23 shooting.
Allen Crabbe (20), Al-Farouq Aminu (16) and Moe Harkless (13) also scored in double figures for Portland, which was playing its first-ever playoff series against Golden State.
Portland made 16 of its 36 3-point shots, outscoring the Warriors 48-42 from beyond the arc.
The Trail Blazers, who led for the first 29 minutes of the game, regained a 96-95 advantage on a driving hoop by McCollum with 10:45 remaining in the contest.
Golden State then ran off to its biggest lead of the night, getting 2- and 3-point hoops by reserve center Marreese Speights in an 11-3 run that produced a 106-99 advantage.
The Trail Blazers wouldn't go away, though. McCollum buried a 3-pointer and converted a three-point play to get Portland within 110-109 with 4:02 to go.
Andre Iguodala and Curry countered with 3-pointers for the Warriors, but McCollum completed a personal 11-point flurry with another trey and a 2-point jumper, keeping Portland's hopes alive at 118-114 with 2:24 to go.
The Trail Blazers used an early 10-0 burst to build a lead. Harkless and Lillard had 3-pointers in the run, which put Portland up 18-8 in the game's fifth minute.
The two 3-pointers were twice as many as the Warriors had in the first 16 minutes of the game.
The Trail Blazers, meanwhile, had six in the first quarter alone. And when Aminu dropped in a pair over a three-possession span midway through the second period, Portland had its biggest lead at 49-38 with 5:35 left in the half.
The Warriors chipped away, getting within 63-58 at the half behind 13 second-quarter points from Thompson.
The Golden State momentum bridged the halftime break, and when Curry buried just his second 3-pointer in eight attempts at the 7:01 mark of the third quarter, the Warriors had their first lead, 75-73.
With Curry swishing his third 3-pointer in the waning seconds of the period, the Warriors held a 93-91 edge entering the fourth quarter.
NOTES: Upon further review, PG Stephen Curry's 40 points in Game 4 equaled the most by a reserve in NBA postseason history since Seattle SuperSonics SG Fred Brown poured in 45 against Phoenix in 1976. ... Warriors PF Draymond Green began the day as the only player among the top 10 in the playoffs in both rebounds (seventh, 10.3) and assists (fifth, 7.1). Green also was top 10 in blocks (fourth, 2.4). ... Trail Blazers SF Al-Farouq Aminu made 55.2 percent of his 3-pointers (16-for-29) in the Golden State series after hitting just 29.3 percent (12-for-41) in the first round against the Los Angeles Clippers. He made at least three treys in all five games against the Warriors after never previously in his career having made three in even three consecutive games.