Round: Western Conference Finals
Dates: May 18-June 2
Winner: Lakers, 4-3
Though Tim Donaghy's shadow stains the curious case of Game 6, this battle between the Kings and Lakers remains a classic. Los Angeles was primed for a threepeat, but Sacramento was equally determined to best their division rivals. They'd split the first two games and the Kings would take the momentum of a Game 3 win into Game 4, where they built a 24-point lead, putting the champs on the ropes. But the Lakers managed to erase the deficit, setting up Robert Horry's greatest hit, a buzzer beating three-pointer to give the Lakers a win and new life, tying the series at 2-2.
Game 5 was another barn burner, capped off by a game-winner from Mike Bibby. We won't even try to explain the 27 free throws the Lakers took in the 4th quarter of Game 6, but we will say that the Kings had a chance to wrap the series up at home in seven and blew it. Kobe dropped 30 alongside Shaq's 35, and the Lakers won in overtime, becoming the first team in 20 years to win a Conference Final or Finals Game 7 on the road.