Listing Shaquille O’Neal’s 3 highest-scoring games in the NBA Finals in his career

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Shaquille O’Neal is one of the most important faces in the NBA’s television world today, as one of the top talents on TNT’s “Inside the NBA.”

During his playing days, he was also one of the most popular players in the world and certainly the most unstoppable force during his prime. O’Neal, a former MVP, became a four-time champion in his 19-year career and also won three Finals MVPs and was named All-NBA 14 times.

O’Neal made it to the NBA Finals six times with three different franchises.

The center appeared in 30 NBA Finals games, with the first coming in 1995 with the Orlando Magic against the Houston Rockets. The last came in 2006 with the Miami Heat against the Dallas Mavericks.

Shaquille O’Neal’s three highest-scoring games in the NBA Finals in his career

O’Neal had some incredible stat lines throughout his career. It didn’t change much in the NBA Finals, as he kept dominating the paint with his physique and his tremendous skills.

In this article, we will give you Shaquille O’Neal’s top three games in the NBA Finals in terms of points scored.

Without further ado, let us take a look.


No. 3: 41 | 2000 NBA Finals

LA Lakers' championship parade.
LA Lakers’ championship parade.

Shaquille O’Neal’s Orlando Magic got swept in the 1995 NBA Finals at the hands of Hakeem Olajuwon and the Houston Rockets. But Shaq returned to that stage five years later.

Now playing for the LA Lakers (a team he joined in 1996), O’Neal, already an MVP, was looking to become a champion with the storied franchise.

In Game 6 of the 2000 NBA Finals against the Indiana Pacers, O’Neal went off for 41 points, making 19 of his 32 shots. He also added 12 rebounds and four blocks to seal the series and earn his first title, along with his first Finals MVP trophy.


No. 2: 43 points | 2000 NBA Finals

Shaq after winning the 2000 NBA Finals.
Shaq after winning the 2000 NBA Finals.

Shaquille O’Neal averaged a staggering 38 points per game in the 2000 NBA Finals. That simply left Reggie Miller’s Indiana Pacers without many chances to overcome the Shaq-Kobe Bryant LA Lakers in that series.

It was a unique display of dominance that started what would become a three-peat for the Lakers – and a streak of three consecutive Finals MVP awards for O’Neal.

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In Game 1 against the Larry Bird-coached team, O’Neal and the Lakers made a quick statement. The Lakers took a 17-point win behind O’Neal’s 43-point night.

He also grabbed 19 rebounds, dished out four assists and recorded three blocks.


No. 1: 44 points | 2001 NBA Finals

Shaquille O'Neal with the NBA Finals MVP and the Larry O'Brien trophies.
Shaquille O’Neal with the NBA Finals MVP and the Larry O’Brien trophies.

Famously, O’Neal has been mocked on the “Inside the NBA” set for never recording a 50-point game in his playoff career. But he’s usually quick enough to dismiss the jab by mentioning the four titles he did get.

On their way to back-to-back titles, O’Neal, Bryant and the Lakers reached the 2001 NBA Finals without losing a single Western Conference playoff game. That included the Tim Duncan-David Robinson San Antonio Spurs.

They reached the NBA Finals with an 11-0 playoff record and eventually finished the postseason 15-1. However, their only loss will always be remembered. That’s because of Allen Iverson’s prowess, leading the Philadelphia 76ers to a Game 1 win while O’Neal scored his career playoff high.

In the overtime loss on June 6, 2001, O’Neal put up 44 points, 20 rebounds and five assists, while making 17 of his 28 field goals. The Lakers then won four straight games to claim the 2001 championship behind O’Neal’s averages of 33 points, 15.8 rebounds, 4.8 assists and 3.4 blocks per game.


Edited by Joseph Schiefelbein

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