);
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.

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