March 6, 2000 – If the Clippers were hoping Laker center Shaquille O'Neal would take it easy on them because it was his birthday, it was the wrong assumption.
Shaq, who was turning 28, ripped through the Clippers' collection of big men as if they were sock puppets in scoring a career-high 61 points to lead the Lakers to a 123-103 victory in a game that featured the largest crowd to attend an NBA game in Southern California.
With his previous best being 53 points, the Diesel had his entire game working against the Clippers.
"The shots that I've been missing the last couple of games were falling for me in the first half," said O'Neal, who scored 15 consecutive points in the fourth quarter. "I carried them the first half. A couple of my teammates said they wanted me to get 50. I just tried to get the ball in deep position and just go up. They took care of me tonight. I would like to thank my teammates. I would like to thank Phil Jackson for giving [me] the opportunity to do this."
Listen as Shaq explains, in "shaq-like' fashion, what it was like on his histroic night: