Round: Western Conference Finals
Dates: May 18-June 2
Winner: Sonics, 4-3
In the one of the greater pair of positional battles the league has seen, veteran superstars John Stockton and Karl Malone faced off with rising talents Gary Payton and Shawn Kemp. Youth fired the first shots, beating the Jazz by 30 in Game 1 and rushing out to a 3-1 series lead. Seattle played perfectly in Game 5, the tone set by 31 and 6 from Payton along with Kemp's 24 and 13, but Utah still eked out an overtime win. Utah blew the Sonics out in Game 6, but another 26 and 14 from Kemp would put Seattle over the top in Game 7.