Before the Los Angeles Lakers and Sacramento Kings became a full-fledged rivalry, they played to a closely contested first-round matchup in the NBA Playoffs. And on May 5, 2000, Shaquille O’Neal led the Lakers to a wire-to-wire 113-86 victory in Game 5.
It upheld the trend of the home team winning each game of the series. The Lakers jumped out to a 31-20 lead by the end of the first quarter, and outscored the Kings in each quarter except fourth, when both teams scored 24 points.
But by that point the game was well in hand. O’Neal finished with a game-high 32 points on 15-for-24 shooting from the field. He made just two of seven free throw attempts, but added 18 rebounds and four assists.
Kobe Bryant contributed with 17 points, while Glen Rice (14 points) and A.C. Green (10) were the only other Lakers to score in double-figures. Derek Fisher, Robert Horry and Rick Fox combined for 25 points.
The Kings were led by Chris Webber who had 20 points. No other Kings player had more than nine points, though six others scored at least eight points.
The Lakers went on to defeat the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Semifinals, outlasted the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals, then defeated the Indiana Pacers to claim the first of three consecutive NBA championships.