"The 25 Most Impressive Performances in NBA Conference Finals History: From Kareem to King James and Michael Jordan"

The NBA Conference finals are sure to be exciting this year as the Boston Celtics take on the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference and the Denver Nuggets face the Los Angeles Lakers in the West. But when talking about iconic conference finals performances, it's hard to top the ones from superstars like LeBron James, Michael Jordan and Dirk Nowitzki. From Charles Barkley's 43-point triple-double with the Phoenix Suns in 1993 to Dirk Nowitzki's 48-point performance for the Dallas Mavericks in 2011, these performances have etched themselves into the annals of NBA history.

LeBron James and Michael Jordan can both boast four of the top 25 performances, with James' 2009 49-point performance for the Cleveland Cavaliers and Jordan's 1989 46-point outburst against the Detroit Pistons leading the pack. The list is rounded out by Dirk Nowitzki's 50-point eruption against the Phoenix Suns in 2006 and Rajon Rondo's 41-point double-doubles with the Boston Celtics in 2012.

"Nobody has ever scored more points on better efficiency in a playoff game than this masterpiece by Dirk Nowitzki," said Tim MacMahon of Nowitzki's 48-point Game 1 of the 2011 Western Conference finals. "James' 49 points was a playoff career high... yet after Orlando coach Stan Van Gundy told his players at halftime, 'We're all witnesses,' referencing James' Nike campaign, the Magic rallied to win by one on a late Rashard Lewis 3-pointer. That was emblematic of a series Orlando won 4-2 despite LeBron's heroics throughout."

As this year's conference finals take place, we'll be able to reflect on the amazing times that these NBA stars and their heroics have shaped the landscape of the game.