• Kurtis Tatkenhorst

June 4- Lakers have a 15 point 4th quarter comeback in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

2000- On this day in Sports History, the Los Angeles Lakers were down 15 points to the Portland Trail Blazers with 10:28 left in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals. No matter which team won, it would be an epic comeback. Either the Trail Blazers, who were down in the series 3-1, would come back to win in Game 7. Or the Lakers would come back from down 15 points with 10 minutes left to win Game 7.

The score was 75-60 before the Lakers scored 15 straight points to tie the game at 75 with four minutes left. The Lakers finished off the Trail Blazers and won the game 89-84. A 29-9 run in the last 10 minutes sent the Lakers to the 2000 NBA Finals. It also included an iconic alley-oop from Kobe Bryant to Shaquille O’Neal with 41 seconds left to cap off the series win. The Lakers comeback was fueled by a great defensive effort by forcing the Trail Blazers to 12 straight missed shots. Kobe Bryant finished the game with 25 points and 11

rebounds while Shaquille O’Neal had 18 points and 9 rebounds. The Trail Blazers were led by Rasheed Wallace who had 30 points and Scottie Pippen who had 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Lakers would go on to win the 2000 NBA Title after beating the Indiana Pacers in the Finals.

The 2000 NBA season was the first season Phil Jackson was the head coach for the Lakers. The former six time NBA Championship coach for the Chicago Bulls played a large role in bringing the Lakers their first NBA Title since 1988. The regular season went pretty smoothly as the Lakers finished with a record of 67-15. They beat the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns in the first two rounds of the Playoffs. Although the Lakers jumped out to a 3-1 lead against the TrailBlazers in the Western Conference Finals, the Trailblazers won Games 5 and 6 to force a deciding Game 7. That is when the Trailblazers held the 15 point lead with about 10 minutes left but were unable to hold it. This took the Lakers to their first NBA Finals appearance since 1991 when they beat the Indiana Pacers in six games.

The 2000’s were a decade where the Lakers saw a lot of excellence. After the Lakers won the 2000 NBA Title, they would go on to win it again in 2001 and 2002. Overall, they’d go to seven out of eleven NBA Finals from 2000-2010 and win five of them. This era of Lakers greatness could have easily started out without a championship if the Lakers had not made a great comeback in Game 7 against the Trail Blazers on this date in 2000.


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Sources:

Ramirez, Joey. “Lakers History: The 15-Point, 4th-Quarter Comeback in Game 7.” Los Angeles Lakers, NBA.com, 26 May 2020

“1999-00 Los Angeles Lakers Roster and Stats.” Basketball Reference


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