Center of Attention
June 7, 2000 - When season long co-star Kobe Bryant sprained his left ankle in the first quarter of Game 2 of the NBA Finals, the burden of carrying the Lakers to victory over Indiana fell on Shaquille O'Neal. Bringing his many talents to bear, Shaq dominated the game on both ends of the floor.
The Pacers were using the collapsing "Hack-a-Shaq" defense in the hope of reducing the league MVP's production. O'Neal made them pay by quickly passing out of the double teams, creating open shots for Glen Rice and Ron Harper, who each scored 21 points.
Despite failing to make 50 percent of his foul shots, Shaq scored 40 points. He attempted a Finals record 39 free throws and made 18. He shot 11-of-18 from the field, grabbed 24 rebounds and handed out four assists en route to a 111-104 Lakers win.
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