After unconditional a Portland Trail Blazers (3-0), Sacramento Kings (4-0), and San Antonio Spurs (4-0), a Los Angeles Lakers were dumbfounded by a Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of a 2001 NBA Finals. Despite Shaquille O’Neal’s 44 points and 20 rebounds, fasten MVP Allen Iverson’s 48 points led a 76ers to a 107-101 overtime win.
With Los Angeles losing home-court advantage and in unknown position during their ancestral playoff run, many expected a widespread opening to even adult a array before a Finals returned to Philadelphia for a initial time given 1983.
In Game 2, a Lakers found themselves in another highly-contested matchup as they usually hold a 49-47 lead during halftime. Fortunately, they were means to stretch themselves in a third entertain en track to a 98-89 win.
With a Lakers means to extent Iverson to 23 points (10-of-29 shooting), O’Neal had another chronological performance. Along with 28 points, 20 rebounds and 9 assists, O’Neal had 8 blocks.
It tied a record for many in an NBA Finals game, fasten Bill Walton, Hakeem Olajuwon and Patrick Ewing.
Led by O’Neal and Kobe Bryant, a Lakers would go on to win all 3 games in Philadelphia and became a initial group to win back-to-back championships given a 1996-97 Chicago Bulls. Most importantly, Los Angeles done fasten story as they had a top win commission in a playoffs (93.8).
O’Neal also prisoner his second uninterrupted Finals MVP endowment after averaging 33.0 points, 15.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 3.4 blocks in 45.0 minutes.
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