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 May 14, 2002 | 1142 IST

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Kings advance to NBA conference finals

Chris Weber and Mike Bibby both scored 23 points as the Sacramento Kings advanced to the Western Conference finals with a 114-101 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Monday.

The win gives the Kings the best-of-seven series 4-1 and a berth in the final against either the Los Angeles Lakers or the San Antonio Spurs, who continue their series on Tuesday at Los Angeles with the Lakers leading the series 3-1.

Replacement starter Hedo Turkoglu added 20 points as the high-powered Kings offence had six players in double-figures.

Sacramento averaged 114 points in the series and the victory on Monday gives the Kings their first berth in a Western Conference final since 1981.

The Kings' players hugged at centre court and team owner Gavin Maloof danced with the team's cheerleaders as the sell-out crowd saluted the Kings with a lengthy ovation.

The Kings, who had the best record in the NBA this season, did not miss second-leading scorer, Peja Stojakovic, who has been out with a sprained ankle since game three of the series.

Weber also left Monday's game for a few minutes with an ankle injury as well, but he returned to lead the offense in the second half.

Dirk Nowitzki had 32 points and 12 rebounds for Dallas, while Michael Finley added 26 points. Fellow guard Steve Nash was held to just 12 points and nine assists.

Vlade Divac had 18 points for the Kings, while Bobby Jackson and Doug Christie each contributed 15 points.

Unless the L.A./San Antonio series goes seven games, the Western Conference final will start this weekend in Sacramento.

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