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Because these were the league's two best teams, this was viewed as a winner-take-all game for the championship (the Lakers went on to sweep the Nets in the Finals). The Lakers trailed in the last minute of regulation and the final two minutes of overtime before finishing off an all-time great series. Shaquille O'Neal (35 points and 13 rebounds) and Kobe Bryant (30 and 10) combined to play 102 minutes. The Lakers joined the 1976 Suns (at Golden State) as the only road teams to win a Game 7 in the West finals. The Kings missed 14 of 30 free throws and came up small in crunch time with the exception of Mike Bibby, who scored 14 of their last 18 points.
BIGGEST CONTROVERSY: The Lakers' 106-102 victory against the Kings in Game 6 of the 2002 Western Conference finals
The Lakers had a 40-25 edge in free-throw attempts, including a 27-9 advantage in the fourth quarter alone. "Obviously, [the Lakers] got the game called the way they wanted to get it called,'' Kings coach Rick Adelman said after the game. Convicted referee Tim Donaghy would allege that two of the referees conspired to influence a Lakers victory in order to produce a Game 7, a charge vehemently denied by commissioner David Stern.