(fast forward to the 5:22 mark to see the Lakers stun the Blazers to advance to the NBA Finals)
One comeback that remains close to my heart is the unfathomable run by the Lakers in Game 7 of the 2000 Western Conference Finals. The stakes in this game could not have been higher, and the vitriol for rival Portland any deeper.
This game was the ultimate last laugh for two nemeses.
Portland kicked the Lakers' butt for three quarters, at the end of which Ron Harper banked in a prayer for three to cut the lead to 71-58. The Blazers were one quarter away from pulling off a monumental upset of their own, a rally from their 3-1 series deficit to win the West. That's where the video picks up.
Shaq and Kobe, not yet at the height of their collective powers, led the Lakers on an astounding 25-4 run in the first year of their new building, the STAPLES Center.
Still, the Blazers weren't out of the game. Until this. The alley-oop from Kobe to Shaq put the Lakers up by six with just 40 second left and sent the roof off the STAPLES Center. The Lakers had accomplished the best comeback in playoff Game 7 history, and they had done it against their most-hated rival.
What happened in the series?
The Lakers won the game with the Game 7 comeback. What happened in the following years, though, is more noteworthy: this victory opened the door for the Lakers to win the first of three consecutive titles, spawning a dynasty that will forever have a footnote in NBA history.