11. 2010 Western Conference Finals Game 6: Lakers vs. Phoenix Suns
If the Los Angeles Lakers wanted a shot at the Boston Celtics in the 2010 NBA Finals to win a second-straight championship, they would first have to take care of the Phoenix Suns. After stealing back the momentum in Game 5, the Lakers would have to finish the job in Game 6 on the road. And through three quarters, everything was clicking for the Lakers. However, the Suns made a valiant effort in the fourth quarter to get back into the game.
Heading into the fourth quarter, the Lakers led 91-74. And with 2:18 left in the fourth quarter, Steve Nash and the Suns pulled within 99-96. But that’s when Kobe took over. During the last two minutes of the game, Kobe would score nine points to officially put the Suns away. Kobe finished with 37 points and six rebounds as he lead the Lakers to punch their ticket to a third-straight NBA Finals appearance.
Not only did the Lakers make it back to the NBA Finals but the series win marked the end of a playoff rivalry between the two teams. The Suns shortly after entered a rebuild and eventually (and somewhat ironically) traded Nash to the Lakers.