Suns-Lakers Playoff History Gallery
January 1, 2011
1970 Playoffs: The first playoff game in Suns history came in just their second season of operation and matched up future Hall of Fame big men Connie Hawkins and Wilt Chamberlain of the Lakers.
1970: NBA greats Elgin Baylor (22) and Jerry West (44) helped set the stage for a rivalry that would last for decades.
1970: The Suns pushed the heavily favored Lakers to the brink, before dropping Game 7 in Los Angeles, 129-94, despite Hawk's 25 points and 15 rebounds.
1980 Playoffs: After defeating Cotton Fitzsimmons' Kansas City Kings, the Suns met the Lakers in the Semifinals 10 years after their first postseason meeting.
1980: The Lakers made relatively quick work of Phoenix, winning the series 4-1 with the help of eventual all-time NBA scorer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (33).
1982 NBA Playoffs: Alvan Adams and the Suns met the Lakers again in the Conference Semifinals two years later, only to be swept in four games.
1984 NBa Playoffs: With the help of Larry Nance (22), the Suns advanced to the Conference Finals for the third time in team history, once again facing the Lakers, who were on their way to a third straight Finals appearance.
1984: The Lakers took a the first two games in L.A. behind greats like Abdul-Jabbar (33), James Worthy and Magic Johnson.
1984: Walter Davis enjoyed a spectacular series, leading the Suns in scoring in four out of six games.
1985 Playoffs: Maurice Lucas and the Suns were swept by the Lakers in 1985.
1989 NBA Playoffs: The Suns and Lakers met again in the Conference Finals, as Suns center Mark West went up against a young Serbian center named Vlade Divac.
1989: The results again went the way of the Lakers, as they swept Jeff Hornacek and the Suns on their way to the '89 NBA Finals.
1990 NBA Playoffs: After five consecutive postseason exits at the hands of the Lakers, the Suns and their fans believed they could finally "Beat L.A."
1990: This Suns team was among their most talented yet, possessing players like "Thunder" Dan Majerle.
1990: "Big Daddy" also proved to be quite the presence in the paint.
1990: Hornacek and the Suns knew they would need to play flawless if they stood any chance against a powerhouse like Los Angeles.
1990: With the series tied at a game apiece, fans in Phoenix were ready for a memorable Game 3 at the Madhouse on McDowell.
1990: Magic Johnson was dominant in the series, finishing both Games 5 and 6 with 43 points.
1990: Kevin Johnson's 37 points in Game 6 helped pave the way for a Suns victory.
1990: Phoenix proved to be the better team for the series as they finally got the monkey off their backs in Los Angeles.
1990: After clinching the series in L.A., fans back in the Valley welcomed home their Suns with open arms.
1993 NBA Playoffs: The tables were turned in 1993 when the Suns and Lakers met again, this time with Phoenix the heavy favorites.
1993: Despite having the NBA's MVP in Charles Barkley, the Suns struggled out of the gates and dropped both of the first two games at the then-named America West Arena.
1993: The Suns were not about to throw in the towel, however, winning both games in L.A. before clinching the series in a dramatic OT win in Game 5.
2000 NBA Playoffs: It wasn't until 2000 that the two teams met again, this time in a Western Conference Semifinals matchup.
2000: Suns guard Jason Kidd dyed his hair blonde during the first-round, before matching up with Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.
2000: Shawn Marion and Co. had fun teasing Kidd about his new look.
2000: Just a rookie during the 2000 playoffs, Marion earned valuable minutes against the Lakers.
2000: After dropping the first three games in the series, Rex Chapman and the Suns broke through in Game 4, winning 117-98 at home.
2000: The excitement was short-lived, however, as the Lakers took Game 5 and the series, en route to their first of three NBA Championships.
2006: In 2006, the two teams met up again for perhaps their most memorable series yet.
2006: The much anticipated match-up was one which both teams came more than prepared for.
2006: After a tough loss in Game 4, the second seeded Suns quickly found themselves down 3-1 to the seventh seeded Lakers.
2006: The resilient Suns battled back, however, and worked their way back into the series.
2006: No shot was more memorable than the three-pointer hit by Tim Thomas in Game 6 which tied the series at three games apiece.
2006: Game 7 at US Airways Center proved to be no contest as the Suns jumped all over the Lakers for a 121-90 victory and a 3-2 series win.