Los Angeles Lakers

This Date in NBA History (March 6): Shaquille O'Neal records career-high 61 points on his birthday

On March 6, 2000, Shaquille O'Neal put up a monster double-double of 61 points and 23 rebounds against the LA Clippers.

On his 28th birthday, O'Neal led the Los Angeles Lakers to a dominant comeback win. Trailing by five points at the end of the first quarter, he took over and helped the Lakers cruise to a 20-point win.

He played 45 of the 48 possible minutes, scoring his 61 points on 24-for-35 shooting from the field and 13-for-22 from the free throw line.

"We tried to do everything conceivable to stop him and slow him down," Clippers interim head coach Jim Todd said of O'Neal. "He just had it going, and it was tough going against Goliath. He obviously wanted to make a point ... I hoped he would stop at 50."

The 1999-00 season is arguably Shaq's greatest individual season. He was named league MVP with averages of 29.7 points (career high), 13.6 rebounds and 3.8 assists on 57.2 percent shooting. He also won his first of three All-Star Game MVPs, leading the Western Conference to victory with 22 points and nine rebounds.

Furthermore, the season ended with the 7-1 centre winning his first of four NBA championships. He was named Finals MVP with averages of 38.0 points, 16.7 rebounds, 2.7 blocks and 2.3 assists on 61.1 percent shooting from the field as the Lakers defeated the Indiana Pacers in six games.

Shaq was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2016. A year later, he was inducted into FIBA Hall of Fame.

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