Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.
DECEMBER 6, 2002
DALLAS MAVERICKS 103 – LA LAKERS 105
LAKERS RALLY BACK FROM 27-POINT FOURTH-QUARTER DEFICIT TO BEAT MAVERICKS
At halftime, with the 7-13 Lakers walking into the locker room trailing 64-36 to the Dallas Mavericks, boos cascaded down from the rows of Staples Center, letting the Lakers know their fans’ expectations after three straight NBA titles. As the third quarter ended with the Lakers still trailing by 27 points, a crowd that had begun the night restless became resigned.
Then, like bad comeback AI in a video game, the Mavericks’ shots stopped falling. To go along with that, the rest of the night, Lakers Kobe Bryant, Brian Shaw, Robert Horry and Brian Shaw wouldn’t miss a basket.
The Lakers would go on to score 44 points in the quarter, coming within three points of the Mavericks with three minutes still left to play. Bryant, playing with a sore groin, scored 21 points on 8-for-8 shooting in the fourth quarter, with 27 points on the night. The Lakers made 16 of their 18 shots in the fourth quarter, none more thrilling that Bryant’s go-ahead basket with 8.4 seconds left that would be the deciding basket in a 105-103 victory.
The Lakers’ 27-point fourth-quarter comeback would be the greatest fourth-quarter comeback in Laker history, and would rank second all-time in NBA history only topped by a Milwaukee Bucks’ 28-point rally in 1977. The victory would give Dallas only their second loss of the season, a loss that stung no one more than scorned former Laker Nick Van Exel, whose 25 points on the night would come in vain.
Quote of the Night: “The clock crawled. It was like a time warp. I kept turning to guys, saying, ‘Can you believe the clock? Look at the clock. It’s not moving.’” – Laker forward Rick Fox on his team’s rampant scoring rally during the fourth quarter in a 105-103 win over the Dallas Mavericks. - From the LA Times, Dec. 6, 2002