On June 2, 1996, the SuperSonics earn their first trip to the NBA (National Basketball Association) Finals since 1979 with a 90-86 victory over the Utah Jazz in Game 7 at KeyArena in Seattle. Shawn Kemp paces the SuperSonics with a 26-point, 14-rebound effort.
The conference championship was the culmination of an impressive playoff run for Seattle. After dispatching the Sacramento Kings 3-1 in a best-of-five series, the Sonics swept the defending-champion Houston Rockets in the second round.
In the Western Conference Finals, Seattle jumped out to a 3-1 series lead but had to fend off a Utah rally before eventually putting the Jazz away.
The Sonics went on to lose to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls in the NBA Finals.
SuperSonics website (www.supersonics.com); Seattle SuperSonics 1999-2000 Media Guide ed. by Marc Moquin (Seattle: Full House Sports & Entertainment, 1999); The Sporting News Official NBA Register, 1998-99 edition, ed. by Mark Bonavita, Mark Broussard, and Brendan Roberts (St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1998); The Sporting News Official NBA Guide, 1998-99 edition, ed. by Mark Broussard and Craig Carter (St. Louis: The Sporting News, 1998).
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