This Day In Lakers History: Shaquille O’Neal Named Unanimous MVP Of 2000 NBA Finals Following Game 6 Victory Over Pacers
Shaquille O'Neal, Lakers
Robert Mora-NBAE

Following a Game 5 loss to the Indiana Pacers, the Los Angeles Lakers returned to Staples Center needing one more victory to close out the 2000 NBA Finals. The matchup resumed on June 19, 200, where the two teams traded blows in the early going of Game 6.

After a tightly-contested first quarter of play, the Pacers found themselves with a slim two-point advantage over the Lakers. The ensuing period was much of the same, as Indiana increased their lead to three points over Los Angeles and entered halftime leading by that same margin.

Trailing 56-53 at the start of the third quarter, the Lakers once again nearly matched shot-for-shot with the Pacers. But the deficit nevertheless grew to five points, meaning Los Angeles would need to piece together a strong effort on both sides of the court in the final 12 minutes of play to prevent a win-or-go home Game 7.

With their backs against the wall, the Lakers scored 37 points in the fourth quarter en route to their 12th championship in franchise history. It was their first title since 1988, and the first of what would be three consecutive titles from 2000-02.

Los Angeles, despite being outscored by the Pacers in three of four quarters, came away with the victory due in part to limiting mistakes. The Lakers tied the NBA Finals single-game record with only five turnovers in the deciding sixth contest.

Shaquille O’Neal led the way with a game-high 41 points and 12 rebounds in 47 minutes of action. He converted 19-of-32 field goal attempts and tallied four blocks on the defensive end as well.

O’Neal was named the unanimous Finals MVP, as he received all seven votes from a national media panel. In the six-game series, O’Neal averaged 38 points, 16.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.7 blocks.

Furthermore, O’Neal became just the third player in NBA history to earn MVP honors for the regular season, All-Star Game and Finals in one season. He joined Willis Reed (1970) and Michael Jordan (1996).

Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!

You May Also Like

Nuggets Coach Mike Malone: ‘Everybody’ Wants Clippers, Lakers In Western Conference Finals

After 10 years, the Los Angeles Lakers are back in the Western Conference Finals after a dominating Game 5…

Lakers News: Anthony Davis Believes Getting Healthy Will Spark On-Court Chemistry

The Los Angeles Lakers have fallen to the No. 5 seed in the Western Conference and could continue to slide in the final…

Lakers Head Coach Frank Vogel Agrees With Bucks’ Giannis Antetokounmpo On Difficulty Of Winning 2020 NBA Championship

The NBA has had to take unprecedented action in effort to finish out the 2019-20 season in a bubble environment…

NBA Rumors: Disney World Frontrunner Over Las Vegas For 2019-20 Regular Season To Resume

It has been over two months since the NBA suspended operations amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic…