With the Lakers set to face the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday night, we take a look back to the 2004 playoffs, where the two teams met in the Conference Finals. After losing a close game 5 by two points, the Lakers returned home, where they were undefeated in the playoffs, to close out the series.
Many will remember that 2004 Lakers squad for its future Hall of Famers in Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton. However, that day belonged to shooting guard Kareem Rush. With Bryant struggling with his shot and Shaq in foul trouble, Rush stepped up and had arguably his best game as a pro.
Rush came into the game with a total of 11 points through five games and was only averaging a pedestrian 35 percent from beyond the three-point arc. However, Rush would go onto have one of the best shooting games in Laker playoff history. Rush scored 18 points, all from beyond the three-point line, and hit six consecutive threes before finishing six of eight from the field.
The Lakers would advance to their fourth finals in five seasons, but would ultimately fall short to the Detroit Pistons in five games.