Lakers Moments: It ain't over till it's over
Winner, winner: Lakers center Shaquille O'Neal is overjoyed after his dunk off an alley-oop in Game 7 of the Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers on June 4, 2000.
After struggling to get past Sacramento in the first round of the playoffs, the Lakers defeated the Phoenix Suns in five games in the Western Conference semifinals, setting up a conference finals matchup against Portland. Portland won Games 5 and 6 to force a decisive seventh game, which featured one of the greatest comebacks in Lakers history.
Down by 13 points entering the fourth quarter, the Lakers staged an improbable rally capped by an incredible alley-oop from Kobe Bryant to O'Neal as the Staples Center crowd erupted at a volume rarely heard at a sporting event. The Lakers then defeated the Larry Bird-coached Indiana Pacers in the NBA Finals to win their first NBA title since 1988.
O'Neal was named MVP of the Finals to become only the third player to be named Most Valuable Player of the regular season, the All-Star game and the NBA Finals.
See the comeback in the video below.
Read more about the 1999-2000 season in All Things Lakers, the L.A. Times' interactive database of all things purple and gold.
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-- Houston Mitchell
Photo credit: Paul Morse / Los Angeles Times