Los Angeles Lakers

On This Date: Shaquille O'Neal records career-high 61 vs. the LA Clippers on his birthday in 2000

Shaquille O'Neal
(Getty Images)

On this date, in 2000, Shaquille O'Neal, then a member of the Los Angeles Lakers, put up a monster double-double of 61 points and 23 rebounds against cross-town rivals the LA Clippers.

On the occasion of his 28th birthday, O'Neal led his team to a dominant comeback win. Being down in the first quarter, he took over and helped the Lakers to eventually cruise to a 20-point win.

He played 45 of the 48 possible minutes, and also recorded 3 assists on 24-of-35 shooting (68.6%).

The 1999-2000 season is arguably Shaq's greatest individual season. He was named MVP for the first and only time in his career with averages of 29.7 points (career-high), 13.6 rebounds, and 3.8 assists (career-high) on 57.2% shooting. Prior to that, he was also named the All-Star Game MVP.

Furthermore, the season ended with the 7-1 center winning his first (of four) NBA Championship. He was named Finals MVP for averages of 38.0 points, 16.7 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 2.3 assists on 61.1% shooting as the led the Lakers past the Indiana Pacers in six games.

More than a decade later, on NBA TV's Open Court, the 4-time NBA Champion recounts the memorable game and everything surrounding it:

Recently, Shaq was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016 and a year later, he was inducted into FIBA Hall of Fame.

More from NBA.com

Chris Paul talks to fans before the 70th NBA All-Star Game on March 7, 2021, in Atlanta, GA.
NBA extends support of all HBCUs
NBA.com Staff
NBA International players 75th Anniversary
NBA 75 highlights international growth of the game
Benyam Kidane
NBA MVP Ladder
The path to MVP for leading candidates
Scott Rafferty
nba-75-logo-getty-101221-ftr.jpg
NBA 75 team: Full list of players revealed
Jordan Greer
LaMelo Ball dominated in the season opener against the Indiana Pacers
LaMelo hears 'MVP' chants as Hornets stun Pacers
Kane Pitman
Jaylen Brown, Evan Fournier
Knicks outlast Celtics in epic 2OT thriller
Yash Matange
More News