Round: Western Conference Semifinals
Dates: May 5-May 17
Winner: Rockets, 4-3
In one final effort to capture that elusive title, Charles Barkley joined the Houston Rockets, who already had two of the NBA's Top 50 in Olajuwon and Drexler. The Sonics were still in search of a championship themselves, since Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp were dispatched by Chicago in the previous year's Finals. So with this much talent and determination on the floor, anything could happen, but it was sure to be exciting. After Houston won the series opener at home, the road team won four straight and Houston held a commanding 3-1 lead. Seattle fought back 'till the bitter end, but powered by their Big Three, the Rockets would prevail.