After a two-year absence, the Golden State Warriors are heading back to the NBA Finals after closing out the Mavericks in game 5 at home to win the Western Conference Finals.
It will be their sixth finals appearance in eight years.
The Warriors needed to bounce back from a disappointing road loss in the previous game and responded like champions, never letting Dallas take a lead during the 120-110 win.
Klay Thompson found his scoring groove with 32 points, including 19 in the first half, with the help of eight threes in his first postseason run since 2019 after being held out the last two campaigns due to a torn ACL and a torn Achilles, respectively.
His splash brother, Stephen Curry, added 15 points and nine assists while winning the inaugural Magic Johnson Western Conference Finals MVP honors after averaging 23.8 points, 7.4 assists, and 6.6 rebounds during the five-game series.
Draymond Green made a solid contribution of 17 points, nine assists, and six rebounds, while Kevon Looney recorded a 10-point, 18-rebound double-double in the win.
The Mavericks at one point trailed by as many as 25 points but showed the heart that helped them eliminate the number one seeded Suns in the previous round.
Luka Doncic, once again their main driving force, finished with 28 points, nine rebounds, and six assists in 40 minutes.
His 15 third-quarter points helped the Mavs get within 10 entering the fourth quarter, but the Warriors managed to regain momentum in short order en route to a decisive win.
It was an admirable run for Dallas that went 52-30 to finish fourth in the West and reached its first conference finals since 2011.
The Warriors, meanwhile, improve to 21-2 in the playoff series under head coach Steve Kerr and 18-0 against Western Conference playoff opponents during his tenure.
Golden State will now host Game 1 of the NBA Finals against either the Boston Celtics or Miami Heat on June 2.
Having gotten the better of rugged Grizzlies as well, the Warriors may very well be the favorites to win it all this season.