On Jan. 4, 2000, the Los Angeles Lakers kicked off the new millennium with an intra-city matchup against the struggling Los Angeles Clippers.
The Lakers entered the game with a 10-game winning streak in tact, but stumbled early out of the gate and trailed by five points after one quarter.
The second quarter saw a slight improvement for the Lakers, as they trimmed the Clippers’ lead to two points and entered halftime on a positive note. That’s when they turned on the jets in the third quarter and outscored the Clippers by 19 points.
With a 17 point-lead in the fourth quarter, the Lakers successfully closed out another victory and defeated the Clippers by a final score of 122-98 — their second double-digit win in as many games.
In 40 minutes of action, Shaquille O’Neal enjoyed one of his most dominant games of the season. He scored a game-high 38 points and 15 rebounds, while converting 17 of 26 field goal attempts.
Kobe Bryant nearly matched O’Neal’s offensive production with 29 of his own points. He filled up the stat sheet in other ways as well, recording nine rebounds, two assists and one steal in 37 minutes on the court.
Leading the way for the Clippers was Lamar Odom, who had a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds. His teammate, Tyrone Nesby, also tallied 22 points during the contest and tallied six rebounds, one assist and one steal.
The Clippers’ efforts were to no avail as they dropped to 9-21 on the year. On the flip side, the Lakers improved to 26-5 and further separated themselves from the rest of the league in the standings.
And of course, the Lakers went on to win the first of three championships.
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