SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- David Robinson probably won't invite Shaquille O'Neal over for dinner. Gregg Popovich isn't likely to take Phil Jackson on a tour of the Alamo.
After nearly a year of verbal warfare, the San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Lakers will get the chance to settle their differences in the Western Conference finals.
The 1999 NBA champion Spurs earned the right to play the defending champs for a spot in this year's NBA Finals by beating the Dallas Mavericks 105-87 Monday night, ending a second-round series in five games.
The showdown, which starts Saturday in San Antonio, will be the first conference finals pitting the two previous NBA champions since 1985. It's only the fifth such matchup in league history.
This one comes with some baggage. O'Neal called the Spurs a WNBA team last summer and Jackson has said San Antonio's title deserves an asterisk because it came in the lockout-shortened season.
"It's a good series to hype up, isn't it?" said Robinson, the target of some harsh words in O'Neal's recent book. "They've been playing great basketball, their best of the year, and our level of basketball has been extremely high. This is exciting. No question this is a big series."
The Spurs are on a nice roll. Six of their seven playoff wins have been by at least 13 points; their average margin over Dallas was 15.5.
San Antonio also has won all five home games and has home-court advantage against the Lakers. The Alamodome crowd already was looking forward to the next round by chanting "Beat LA!" in the final minutes against the Mavericks.
"This is the series everybody wanted," said Tim Duncan, who led the Spurs with 32 points and 20 rebounds. "I don't know if we wanted it."
The Lakers are on an even better roll, having won 15 in a row. They just became the fifth team to sweep the first two rounds since the current playoff format was adopted in 1984.
"They are obviously the hottest team in the league," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "They are a really good defensive club, a heck of an offensive club and play unselfishly. It's going to be a heck of a challenge for us."
Charlotte travels to Milwaukee for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal Tuesday night. The series is tied 2-2.
After blowing a chance for a sweep Saturday in Dallas, San Antonio wasted no time taking charge on Monday night.
Duncan and Robinson threw down early dunks and a 3-pointer by Danny Ferry put the Spurs up by double digits within eight minutes. The Spurs hit 15 of their first 20 shots and led by at least 11 for the final three quarters.
"You could tell from the moment everyone walked in this morning that everyone was extremely focused," said Antonio Daniels, who set his playoff high with 19 points and nine assists.
Dallas, which had won four straight elimination games this postseason, didn't have the energy -- or accuracy -- to come back.
Except for Dirk Nowitzki, who scored a career-high 42 points and had 18 rebounds, the Mavericks resumed the inept shooting that cost them the first three games of the series. Dallas was 0-for-11 on 3-pointers.
"Worst game of my life," said Michael Finley, who was 1-for-17. "Being that it was the biggest game of my life, I didn't give my team a chance."
Dallas, which in the first round became the sixth team to win a five-game series after losing the first two, became the 64th team unable to overcome an 0-3 deficit in a seven-game series.
But the Mavs can feel good about their best season in 13 years. They won 53 games and upset Utah in the first round.
"It's a disappointment to end the season on a blowout," said Nowitzki, who had his fourth game with at least 30 points this postseason, the first in a loss. "But maybe it's better than ending on a one-point loss. That'd be even more frustrating."
Notes: This is the sixth time the Spurs have made the conference finals. They faced the Lakers in 1982 and '83, losing both times. San Antonio's only NBA Finals appearance was in 1999, when it beat New York for the championship. ... After making 18 of 19 free throws in Game 4, Dallas missed three of its first 11. ... The last time the Western Conference finals featured the two previous champions was Los Angeles-Milwaukee in 1972. Boston, the 1984 champ, and 1983 champ Philadelphia met in the East finals in '85. The other conference finals meetings between the last two champions were Boston-Philadelphia ('58) and Minneapolis-Rochester ('52). The '52 and '58 matchups were during the era of two rounds of playoffs
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