LOS ANGELES — The three-year championship reign of the Los Angeles Lakers came to a decisive end Thursday night.
Two-time MVP Tim Duncan had 37 points and 16 rebounds, and Tony Parker added 27 points as the San Antonio Spurs overpowered the tired, beat-up Lakers 110-82 to win the Western Conference semifinal series 4-2.
Thus, the Lakers won't join the Boston Celtics as the only NBA teams to win more than three straight championships. The Celtics won eight straight from 1959-66.
The Lakers had won 13 straight playoff series under coach Phil Jackson, and were 4-0 under Jackson when facing elimination.
But in this one, they were out of contention by midway through the fourth quarter.
The last team to eliminate the Lakers from the playoffs was San Antonio, which swept them in the 1999 conference semifinals en route to its only championship. The Lakers hired Jackson shortly thereafter.
Jackson-coached teams had won a record 25 consecutive playoff series dating to 1996, and his nine titles are tied for the most in NBA history with former Boston coach Red Auerbach.
Shaquille O'Neal led the Lakers with 31 points and 10 rebounds. He was removed with 4:34 remaining and the Spurs leading 98-76.
Kobe Bryant added 20 points for the Lakers and was teary-eyed when it ended.
"We have a million and one excuses we can go to, but the fact is we're not going to make any. They played better than us in this series," Bryant said.
During a timeout with 2:26 left, the Staples Center crowd stood and applauded the Lakers, who trailed by 25 points at that point.
Duncan, who finished 16-for-25 from the field, scored the first four points of the fourth quarter to give the Spurs an 82-69 lead. A basket by Manu Ginobili made it 84-70 with 10:07 remaining.
The Lakers were in need of a comeback similar to the one they made from a 75-60 deficit with 101/2 minutes left in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals against Portland three years ago.
But it wasn't to be.
Ginobili's 3-pointer with 8:09 remaining made it 91-74, and the Lakers were through.
"We didn't want to take it to seven with these guys," Duncan said.
The Spurs advanced to the Western Conference finals to face Dallas or Sacramento. The series begins Monday.
"It matters not," David Robinson said. "We're just excited to be moving to that next level."
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said there was a positive aspect to his team blowing all but two points of a 25-point lead in Game 5 before holding on for a 96-94 victory.
Kings 115, Mavericks 109 SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Doug Christie simply would not let the Sacramento Kings be eliminated in Arco Arena — even with Nick Van Exel almost singlehandedly trying to put Dallas into the conference finals.
Christie had 20 points, nine rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a steal to lead the Kings to a 115-109 victory over the Mavericks on Thursday night, evening their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal series at 3-3.
Kings coach Rick Adelman threw his arm up in the air in excitement during the final seconds. Game 7 is Saturday night in Dallas.
The Mavs remain one win away from their first trip to the NBA finals, while the Kings' quest for the franchise's first title in 52 years is still alive.
Van Exel scored 35 points on 15-for-23 shooting in 37 minutes, and the Kings had no one who could guard him. He leapt high for a rebound and scored on a putback with 8:16 left for a 95-94 lead, but the Mavs then went cold and didn't get another basket for 5:05.
Dirk Nowitzki added 21 points and 12 rebounds for Dallas, while Michael Finley had 21 points, seven boards and four assists.
Peja Stojakovic had 24 points and 10 rebounds for the Kings.
, who played their fourth game in the series without injured star Chris Webber. Sacramento overcame a sluggish first quarter and converted 31 of 32 free throws, including 31 straight. Reserves Bobby Jackson and Jim Jackson had 21 and 16 points, respectively.
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