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LOS ANGELES (AP) _ Shaquille O'Neal simply wouldn't allow the Los Angeles Lakers' dream of a dynasty to die at home.

Carrying his teammates on his broad shoulders one more time, O'Neal had 41 points and 17 rebounds as the two-time defending champions forced a Game 7 in the Western Conference finals, beating the Sacramento Kings 106-102 Friday night.

With everything from savage dunks and delicate hook shots to a string of 10 straight free throws, O'Neal wouldn't allow this epic playoff series to end early. He went 13-for-17 from the line, not a remarkable feat for most players _ but an indication of just how seriously O'Neal took this game.

Now, it will end appropriately: With the champs matched against the NBA's best regular-season team in a winner-take-all game on Sunday.

The winner of Game 7 at Arco Arena will play host to the New Jersey Nets, winners of the Eastern Conference, in Game 1 of the Finals on Wednesday night.

Kobe Bryant had 31 points and 11 rebounds in the Lakers' first elimination game since the 2000 conference finals against Portland.

Los Angeles went nearly six minutes without a field goal down the stretch in the fourth quarter, but made 18 free throws over the final 6:21 to hold off the Kings. Bryant made four free throws in the final 19.8 seconds.