And then there were 4
Best clubs of the regular season will meet in respective Conference Finals
The battle for the 2013/14 NBA title has four contenders standing.
David West delivered his strongest game of the play-offs with 29 points to help guide the Indiana Pacers into Eastern Conference Finals with a series-clinching 93-80 Game Six win over the Washington Wizards yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Indiana advanced from the best-of-seven series with a 4-2 victory and the top-seeded Pacers' next challenge starts with a home-game encounter against two-time defending champions Miami Heat on Monday morning.
The Pacers will be hoping to make it third time lucky against the Heat after losing to Miami at the same stage in the last two seasons, with West confident of success this time around.
"We've got home court (this time), which is a good start," West said. "We know who they are, they know who we are. It's going to come down to the details."
In the Western Conference, the top-ranked San Antonio Spurs will take on second seeds Oklahoma City Thunder.
Kevin Durant scored 39 points as the Thunder advanced to the Western Conference Finals with a 104-98 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game Six.
The Thunder rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit to tie the contest on the last play of the third quarter, then stepped it up in the fourth to win the second-round series 4-2.
"Tonight's game is something we've done all year," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks, of the match played out in front of a crowd of 19,565 at the Staples Center.
"We stuck together and found ways to win."
Oklahoma City will travel to Texas the first game against San Antonio on Tuesday morning (Singapore time).
It was a heartbreaking season-ending loss for a Clipper club that rode a roller-coaster of emotions while dealing with the Donald Sterling fiasco in the past month.
League MVP Durant had 16 rebounds and Russell Westbrook struggled early but still managed 19 points and 12 assists for the Thunder, who advanced to their third NBA semi-finals in four years.
Durant carried the team on his shoulders like he has done all season long, especially when things looked bad in the first quarter.
"It is not how you start. It is how you finish. I just stuck with it," Durant said.
The Clippers started strong but then saw their offence begin to fizzle at the end of the second quarter.
"It was the third quarter that changed the game," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers.
"We never got our energy back. We came out at the beginning with a lot of emotion and I said to one of my coaches, 'I hope we don't hit a wall'." - Wire Services.
Western Conference (Game Six)
Oklahoma City Thunder 104
LA Clippers 98
- Oklahoma City win series 4-2
Eastern Conference (Game Six)
Washington Wizards 80
Indiana Pacers 93
- Indiana win series 4-2.