After the Los Angeles Lakers barely got past the Sacramento Kings within the Western Conference Finals, their NBA Finals matchup with the Recent Jersey Nets was expected to be a farce.
The Nets were a great team that won 52 games and were centered around the abilities of Hall of Fame point guard Jason Kidd. They even finished first within the league in defensive rating.
But they lacked offensive firepower, they usually didn’t exactly have a superstar who could carry them or impose his will on their opponent.
In the primary two games of the 2002 Finals, Shaquille O’Neal imposed his will on the Nets, scoring 36 and 40 points, respectively.
The Lakers took a 2-0 result in Bergen County for Game 3, and for the primary time within the series, the Nets showed life and fight.
Despite trailing early, they really took a modest lead within the fourth quarter, as Kidd went for 30 points and 10 assists.
But after playing a subservient role in the primary two contests, Kobe Bryant began to claim himself and prevented Recent Jersey from getting on the board.
With lower than 30 seconds left and L.A. clinging to a two-point lead, Bryant was covered like flypaper by Kidd, who was considered among the finest defenders in basketball.
Guard Kerry Kittles got here over to assist and check out for a steal, but Bryant got away from him and hit a jumper from just contained in the free throw line in Kidd’s face to seal a 106-103 win.
Bryant finished with 36 points on 14-of-23 shooting, while O’Neal continued his dominance with 35 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocked shots.
Game 3 turned out to be Recent Jersey’s last gasp, because the Lakers concluded matters in Game 4 to officially claim their third straight NBA championship.
Jayson Tatum desired to be drafted by the Lakers in 2017