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1999-2000 Los Angeles Lakers
ROUND 1: Defeated by 1988-89 DETROIT PISTONS | RESULTS



HEAD COACH: Phil Jackson

TEAM STATISTICS
FG%
FT%
REB
AST
STL
BLK
PPG
OFFENSIVE
.459
.696
3855
1921
613
534
100.8
DEFENSIVE
.416
.742
3538
1597
627
345
92.3

NOTABLE INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS
NO.
PLAYER
G
MIN
FG%
REB
AST
PPG
34
79
3163
.574
1078
299
29.7
8
66
2524
.468
416
323
22.5
41
Glen Rice
80
2530
.430
327
176
15.9
4
Ron Harper
80
2042
.399
337
270
7.0
17
82
1473
.414
198
138
6.5
2
78
1803
.346
143
216
6.3
5
76
1685
.438
361
118
5.7
45
A.C. Green
82
1929
.447
486
80
5.0
20
Brian Shaw
74
1249
.382
216
201
4.1

How did it come to this for the Los Angeles Lakers? They had held a 3-1 series lead over the Portland Trail Blazers in the 2000 Western Conference Finals only to see the Blazers storm back to tie the series.

1999-2000 SEASON RESULTS
RECORD (PCT.)
67-15 (.817)
FIRST ROUND
CONFERENCE SEMIS
CONFERENCE FINALS
NBA FINALS

VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS

1999-2000 Lakers: Play


Now, here in Game 7, the Lakers were on their home court and facing elimination as 15 points, 10 minutes and 28 seconds and five Blazers stood between L.A. and a berth in the NBA Finals. The Lakers were about to throw away a 67-win regular season.

And the Lakers also faced another obstacle: history. The largest-ever fourth-quarter lead overcome in a Game 7 was six points. But by the time the final horn sounded, the Lakers had erased the lead with a 20-9 run, made history by winning 89-84 and eliminated the Blazers.

"This is what makes champions," Lakers guard Kobe Bryant said of L.A.'s historic win.

Bryant proved to be prophetic as the Lakers would go on to defeat the Indiana Pacers in six games in the 2000 NBA Finals to win the franchise's 12th NBA title and first since 1988.

The Lakers made their first move toward winning the 2000 NBA championship in the offseason. After being swept out of the playoffs by the Spurs on May 23, 1999, the Lakers hired head coach Phil Jackson 24 days later. Jackson had taken the season off after leading the Chicago Bulls to their sixth NBA title in as many NBA Finals appearances in the 1997-98 season.

When he inherited the Lakers' reins, Jackson also inherited two of the more talented players at their positions in the NBA. With Shaquille O'Neal, Jackson would be able to build his vaunted, triple-post triangle offense around 7-1, 330-pound center and six-time All-Star. Playing off O'Neal would be the precocious fourth-year guard, Bryant, who averaged 19.9 ppg in 1998-99 and was beginning to come into his own as an electrifying offensive presence on the perimeter.

Lakers general manager Jerry West surrounded O'Neal and Bryant with a seasoned group of complementary players. Glen Rice, who was two seasons removed from finishing second in the NBA MVP voting in 1998, manned the small forward spot. Ron Harper, who won three titles with Jackson's Bulls and provided steady stewardship within the triangle offense. After he spent six seasons away from L.A., A.C. Green returned to man the power forward spot and provide veteran leadership.

West also surrounded that first team with unheralded but a gritty bunch of reserves. Robert Horry, who had won two titles with the Rockets in the mid-'90s and was a premier playoff performer, could spell any position from shooting guard to power forward. Fourth-year guard Derek Fisher could put the clamps on opposing point guards and keep defenses honest with his long range shooting. Rick Fox, who couldn't find a niche in Boston, found one in Los Angeles: Sixth Man. The Lakers also had Brian Shaw, a teammate of O'Neal's in Orlando and an 10-year vet. His veteran presence calmed the Lakers' second unit.

From the beginning, the Lakers, who had won 61 games in 1997-98, were the prohibitive favorites to run away with the Pacific Division crown, if not the NBA title. And they didn't disappoint. After starting the season with 15 wins in their first 20 games, some thought the Lakers couldn't get any better. They were wrong, the Lakers only improved on their impressive start by reeling off 16 consecutive wins to move to a scalding 31-5. L.A. then hit a snag, winning only three of their next nine games. But their desultory play proved to be temporary as the Lakers won 19-straight games, the third-best winning streak in NBA history. After having that streak snapped, the Lakers won another 11-straight games en route to a 67-15 record, tied with Jackson's 1992 Bulls and the 1986 Boston Celtics for the fifth-best record in NBA history. Despite this amazing display of regular-season hoops, the Lakers found the road to the 2000 NBA Finals to be rocky. After winning the first two games of their opening round series in L.A. against their soon-to-be arch-rival Kings, the series moved north, while the Lakers went south, losing two in Sacramento. With the series tied, but heading back to Los Angeles, the Lakers took care of the Kings with a 27-point win in Game 5. The Lakers would then dispatch the Phoenix Suns in five games in the Western Conference semifinals. In the conference finals, the Lakers found themselves face-to-face with the Blazers, who finished eight games behind L.A. in the Pacific.

The Lakers seemingly had the series in hand at 3-1 after winning two in Portland, but the Blazers went back to L.A. and won Game 5, then returned to Portland and won Game 6, setting up the decisive Game 7 in Los Angeles. And that's where, as Bryant said, where the 2000 champions were made.

In the 2000 Finals, the Lakers met the Eastern Conference champion Pacers. The Lakers won the first two games in Los Angeles, before losing Game 3 in Indiana. In Game 4, the Lakers faced another seemingly unassailable obstacle. With the Lakers up 112-109 in overtime, O'Neal fouled out with 2:52 remaining. With the regular-season MVP watching from the bench, Bryant scored six of the Lakers' final eight points to give L.A. a 120-118 and a 3-1 series lead. Indiana would win Game 5, but the Lakers would take their first NBA title in 12 years with a 116-111 win in Los Angeles. The Lakers won 82 of the 105 games they played in the 1999-2000 regular and postseason for the 11th best winning percentage in league history.