June 4, 2015 marks the 20th anniversary of the Orlando Magic defeating the Indiana Pacers in Game 7 of the 1995 Eastern Conference Finals. The only six season old Orlando Magic team used two major weapons to defeat the Pacers: Shaq and Penny Hardaway. Because the team was so young, the triumphs over the Celtics, Bulls, and Pacers were the first three Playoff series wins in Magic history.
Coming off of a big win against the Chicago Bulls 4-2, the Magic bought it to the Pacers in the first two games of the series. In all but Game 4, the games were high scoring and fast-paced–truly exciting ’90s Playoff games.
While in Game 1 the Pacers grabbed an early lead and lost it, Game 2 was a much different story; Shaq scored a whopping 39 points, Penny added his 19 points and 15 assists, and Dennis Scott had 17 points. That cinched Game 2 for the Magic, 119-114. After the second game of the series, Penny said, “Either they have to play Shaq one-on-one, or they’ll continue to give up jump shots. I don’t know what they can do to stop both” (via). Between the first two games, Shaq averaged 35.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game.
Game 4 of the series is said to be one of the most dramatic games of Playoff history. Check out the four phenomenal dunks by Penny and the end of the game below:
Peep Shaq in the Reebok Shaq Attaq IV (or Shaq Attaq Instapump) and Hardaway in the Nike Air Flight One. (via)
Cut to Game 7: Both teams were tired and pissed; many complained about the officiating in Games 4 and 5 and thus, the fight had brought the series back to Orlando. Shaq hit 25 points and got 11 rebounds while Hardaway grabbed 17 points. The Magic scored and scored and scored in that last game bringing the final score to 105-81.
Throughout the series, Shaq and Penny rocked some of their most classic kicks. Penny rocked a few different colorways of the Nike Air Flight One. Shaq rocked the Reebok Shaq Attaq IV and another Reebok Shaq model that I can’t, for the life of me, remember the name of. If you know it comment the name below!
Here’s Game 7 of the 1995 EFC in its entirety. Below it is a gallery of beautiful images from the series.