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Lakers advance to the NBA Finals

May 29, 2009 |  8:48 pm

There it is! The Lakers are headed back to the NBA Finals for the 30th time in franchise history after closing out the Nuggets 119-92 in Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals. After five physical, entertaining games of basketball, LA was superior from the opening tip in Denver Friday night, up by five after one, 13 at the half, and not looking back from there.  Not a bad time to unleash the team's best performance of the postseason. Yes, it was championship-worthy.

Kobe Bryant was brilliant, authoring 35 points, dishing out ten assists and grabbing six boards. Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom played the second and third fiddle just as well, each dropping 20 points and combining for 20 rebounds.

A year after the Finals disappointment against Boston, the purple and gold are guaranteed another crack ad the Larry O'Brien, four games away from hanging a fifteenth championship banner at the Staples Center and roping off Figueroa for another parade.

The Finals tip June 4 and the Lakers will welcome the rest as they wait for Orlando or Cleveland. Plenty more postgame coverage to come!

--Ben Taylor