Updated: June 6, 2006, 12:55 PM ET

Best snapshots: West playoffs

Dallas at San Antonio, Game 7, conference semifinals (May 22): This play changed the course of the playoffs and perhaps the NBA. Dirk Nowitzki scored on this layup -- and subsequent free throw after the Manu Ginobili foul -- to send Game 7 into overtime. When Dallas eliminated San Antonio in OT, the win not only meant that the NBA would have a new champion but also was viewed as a potential sea change in favor of the Mavericks' faster, more exciting style of play. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Dirk For 3

AP Photo/Mark Humphrey
Dallas at Memphis (April 29): Dirk Nowitzki dashed the Grizzlies' hopes of winning their first-ever playoff game when he drilled this 3-pointer to tie the game with 15.7 seconds remaining and send the game into overtime. Nowitzki's shot was set up when Shane Battier (left) unwisely batted a rebound out toward the top of the key. Pau Gasol (right) couldn't quite get to his fellow Euro, and Nowitzki's Horry-style (or Miller-style) bomb was right on target.

Draining The Lakers
Tim Thomas
Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images
Phoenix at Los Angeles (May 4): The Lakers were just seconds from moving on to face the Clippers in an unprecedented Hallway series. But their failure to secure a rebound set up this Tim Thomas 3-pointer to send Game 6 into OT, where Phoenix prevailed. Two days later, a 31-point loss in Game 7 meant that, for the first time ever, Lakers coach Phil Jackson went home after the first round.

Raja Corners Clippers

Barry Gossage/Getty Images
L.A. Clippers at Phoenix (May 16): Raja Bell's unlikely corner 3-pointer sent Game 5 into overtime and allowed the Suns to escape with a win and a 3-2 series lead. The play led to controversy over Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy's late-game defensive strategy.

Give Them A Hand

Andrew D.Bernstein/Getty Images
For the first time since moving to L.A., the Clippers won a playoff series. But are they in it to win it or are they still the Lakers' little brothers?

Sundown In L.A.

AP Photo/Ric Francis
Phoenix at Los Angeles (April 30): "The most fun shot I've ever hit" is how Kobe Bryant described his Game 4 buzzer beater.

See Marc Stein's complete story.


AP Photo/Khampha Bouaphanh
Los Angeles at Phoenix (April 26): The MVP debate came to thrilling life when Kobe Bryant slammed on Steve Nash in Game 2. Charge, block ... or just a great poster?

Down Goes Kobe

AP Photo/Rick Hossman
Los Angeles at Phoenix (May 2): Raja Bell blew his cool and took down Kobe Bryant in Game 5, leading to a one-game suspension.

See ESPN.com's Raja Bell interview.

K-Mart Open Late

AP Photo/Steve Yeater
San Antonio at Sacramento (April 28): In a frantic finish, Mike Bibby stole the ball from Manu Ginobili and fed ahead to Kevin Martin, who pretzeled in a buzzer-beating layup over Tim Duncan to keep the Kings alive, 94-93.

Good Stuff

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Dallas at San Antonio (May 17): With the Spurs down 3-1 in the series, Bruce Bowen stuffed Dirk Nowitzki with 6.3 seconds remaining to force a jump ball and keep the champs' hopes alive for a few more days.



Search Arrow