On June 4th in 2000, the Los Angeles Lakers came back from a 15-point fourth-quarter deficit to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 89-84 in Game 7 of the Western Conference Finals.
The win helped the illustrious franchise advance to the 2000 NBA Finals, which was the team's 25th ever appearance and the first since 1991.
With 10:28 minutes to go in this crucial decider, the Lakers were down 75-60 on their home floor at the Staples Center. Then, they rallied to score the next 15 points of the game and went on a game-sealing 29-9 run.
During the fourth-quarter comeback, the Lakers received 12 points from the bench duo of Robert Horry and Brian Shaw (of their 23 for the game). The run also included one of the most memorable alley-oops in NBA history - the connection between Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant that put the Lakers up 85-79 with just 41 seconds remaining:
#OTD in 2000: @kobebryant & @SHAQ overcame a 13-point deficit in the 4th QTR to lead the @Lakers past the Blazers in Game 7 of the WCF. (🔊⬆️) pic.twitter.com/7oybUTdDxp- NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) June 4, 2018
Overall, the Lakers outscored the Trail Blazers 31-13 in the fourth quarter.
Rasheed Wallace of the Trail Blazers scored a game-high 30 points while Kobe Bryant was the game's biggest contributor with his all-round stat line of 25 points, 11 rebounds, seven assists, and four blocks. O'Neal finished with 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists
This victory sparked a five-year span where the Lakers would make four NBA Finals appearances and win three championships (2000-02).
Other notable events on June 4th
- In 1976, Boston Celtics' Jo Jo White scored a game-high 33 points as they outlasted the Phoenix Suns 128-126 in triple-overtime in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. This game is the longest Finals game every played in NBA history. Suns' forward Gar Heard, who played a then Finals record 61 minutes, hit the buzzer-beater to force the third overtime period. Kevin Johnson, of the Suns, broke Heard's record by playing 62 minutes in a triple-overtime Game 3 of the 1993 NBA Finals against the Chicago Bulls.
- In 1987, Los Angeles Lakers shot a then NBA Finals record 61.5 percent from the field in a 141-122 Game 2 victory against the Boston Celtics. En route to winning that championships series, the Lakers set multiple records in this Game 2. Michael Cooper's six 3-pointers was then an NBA Finals record and is currently tied for second-most in a Finals game. The Lakers' shooting percentage of 61.5% remains second-highest in franchise history, Magic Johnson's 20 assists were one off his Finals records of 21 and the Lakers' 44 assists tied the team single-game NBA Finals record set by another Lakers' team on May 6, 1970.
- In 1997, the NBA announced it's first-ever game in Mexico. The regular-season game, which was played on December 6th, 1997, would feature the Dallas Mavericks and the Houston Rockets. With this game, at that time, Mexico joined Japan as the only countries apart from Canada and the United States to host an NBA regular-season game.
Notable playoff eliminations on June 4th
- In 1995, the Orlando Magic advanced to their first-ever NBA Finals in just their sixth season in the league after defeating the Pacers 101-85 in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals in Indiana. Shaquille O'Neal scored a game-high 25 points while Dennis Scott set then NBA playoff records for most 3-pointers attempted (65) and the most treys made (28) in a seven-game series.
- In 1993, the Chicago Bulls defeat the New York Knicks 96-88 in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Finals. Thus, booking their third consecutive NBA Finals appearance.
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