Bryant scored 34 points to lead six players in double figures as the Lakers built a big lead and held on Friday for a 108-105 victory over the Utah Jazz that wrapped up their Western Conference semifinal in six games.
The top-seeded Lakers joined the Detroit Pistons as the only teams to win road games in this round. In the conference finals for the first time since 2004, they await the winner of the New Orleans-San Antonio series.
Bryant made his first four shots and scored 10 points as the Lakers bolted to a 26-12 lead and never trailed. Hot shooting from guards Derek Fisher and Sasha Vujacic in the second quarter gave LA a 62-43 advantage at halftime, its largest lead.
The fourth-seeded Jazz, who came in 41-5 at home this season, battled back within seven points midway through the final period. But Bryant - who did not take a shot in the fourth quarter of Game 5 - made a 3-pointer and three-point play to rebuild the lead to 99-86 and added six free throws down the stretch.
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