The Los Angeles Lakers reached the NBA's Western Conference finals for the first time in four years by beating the Utah Jazz 108-105 on Friday. Kobe Bryant scored 34 points for LA, which held off a furious rally by the Jazz to clinch the series 4-2. Los Angeles plays the winner of the San Antonio-New Orleans series to be decided Monday.
The Jazz trailed by 19 points at halftime and 16 at the end of the third quarter, but hit a flurry of 3-pointers to get within two points in the final minute. The Jazz had a chance to tie it at the end, but Mehmet Okur and Deron Williams missed 3-pointers in the closing seconds.