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Lakers Moments: Cedric Ceballos scores when it counts

May 18, 2011 |  3:15 pm

Cedric_ceballos Did you hear that? Lakers forward Cedric Ceballos dunks over Seattle SuperSonics guard Gary Payton in a playoff game at the Forum on May 1, 1995.

Considered one of the better small forwards of the 1990s, Cedric Ceballos was instrumental in transforming the Lakers back into a competitive team after three losing seasons. And he made an immediate difference, averaging a career-high 21.7 points per game in 1994-95 as the Lakers won 48 games, 15 more than the previous season.

The 25-year-old scored 50 points in a victory over Minnesota at the Forum on Dec. 20, 1994, becoming the first Laker in more than 20 years to reach the half-century scoring mark. Ceballos, who was selected to the 1995 All-Star game but did not play because of an injury, helped the Lakers to the conference semifinals in the playoffs -- their best postseason showing since the 1991 NBA Finals.

He led the team in scoring again during the 1995-96 season (21.2 ppg) to become the first Laker since James Worthy (1989-91) to average more than 20 points in consecutive seasons.

Read more about Cedric Ceballos in All Things Lakers, the L.A. Times' interactive database of all things purple and gold.

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-- Austin Knoblauch

Photo credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press