2000, Game 4 – Los Angeles Lakers 120, Indiana Pacers 118 (OT)
Young Kobe Bryant Closes Game Against Pacers After Shaq Fouls Out
Today, we look at Kobe Bryant as a seasoned NBA veteran—not only that, but someone who’s paid his dues, dominated the league and has the rings to show for it. But back in 2000, he was still a 21-year-old kid looking to make a name for himself.
All that said, it was Shaquille O’Neal who led the attack for the Lakers in the 2000 NBA Finals against Reggie Miller and the Indiana Pacers, as the Big Man eventually received the Finals MVP Award for his efforts. In Game 4, he put up 36 points and 21 rebounds – absolute monster numbers, but his fouling out in overtime gave Kobe the chance to shine on his own in the final two minutes. Bryant hit two long two-point jumpers and tipped in a missed shot to score six of the last eight LA points on the night. Miller’s missed three at the buzzer handed a 3-1 series lead to the Lakers, who would close out the series two games later on their home court. It was the closest Miller would get to a title in his successful yet frustrating NBA career.