An injury to star teammate Shaquille O'Neal at the start of the 1995–96 NBA season forced Hardaway to garner more of the scoring load during the first few weeks of the season. He responded by leading the Magic to a 17–5 start. He was named NBA Player of the Month for November by averaging 27. 0 points, 6. 5 assists, 5. 8 rebounds, 2. 2 steals, and 1 block per game. He was named a starter in the NBA All-Star Game for the second consecutive season while leading the Magic to a franchise record 60 wins. For the season he was named to the All-NBA First Team for the second consecutive year while averaging 21. 7 points, 7. 1 assists and 4. 3 rebounds and capturing 166 steals which was good for 5th in the league. He also finished third in MVP voting. Hardaway was again the only player in the NBA who averaged at least twenty points and five assists and shot fifty percent on field goals during the regular season. The Magic's playoff run ended in the Eastern Conference Finals to the eventual champion Chicago Bulls. In the twelve-game playoff run Hardaway averaged 23. 3 points, 6 assists, and 4. 7 rebounds.