On June 12, 2002, the Los Angeles Lakers became one of five teams to ever conquer the feat of winning three consecutive NBA Championships.
The Lakers were in New Jersey taking on the Nets, led by point guard Jason Kidd and head coach Byron Scott.
With a 3-0 series lead, the Lakers were looking to end things in four games.
The Lakers got past the Sacramento Kings in the Western Conference Finals. In what was widely considered to be the NBA Finals, the Lakers were rolling in terms of momentum, and it carried them all the way to Game 4 of the Finals.
Behind a 34 point, 10 rebound effort from center Shaquille O’Neal and eventual Finals MVP, the Lakers defeated the Nets 113-107 to complete the four game sweep and also completed their three-peat. They became the fifth team in NBA history to win at least three straight NBA championships.
With the victory, Lakers’ head coach Phil Jackson tied the great Red Auerbach’s record of nine championships as a coach. Phil would later break that record in 2011, when he won his 11th title when the Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics.
Shaq also set another record of his own. With his 34 point outing, Shaq set the mark for most points (145) in a four-game Finals series, eclipsing Hakeem Olajuwon’s 131, which he set in 1995 against the Shaq-led Orlando Magic.
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