Lakers Lookback: Top 5 Lakers Moments Of The 1980s Decade
5. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Becomes The NBA All-Time Leading Scorer
On April 5, 1984 the Lakers faced off against the Utah Jazz in a regular season game that would give Kareem Abdul-Jabbar the opportunity to surpass Wilt Chamberlain as the all-time leading scorer in NBA history. Coming into the matchup, all Kareem needed to score was 22 points in order to snap Wilt’s record of 31,419 points. Basketball fans knew that something special was on the brink of happening. Prior to the nights game, the crowd gave Kareem a 45-second standing ovation. Following that reception from the crowd, Kareem went on to score 22 points, grab five rebounds, and dish out three assists en route to his record breaking evening.
4. 1980 NBA Finals Game 6 (Magic saves the day as a rookie)
In the 1980 NBA Finals, Magic Johnson placed himself into Laker lore by way of his Game 6 performance. With Kareem Abdul-Jabbar out due to a severe ankle sprain, Magic made it his duty to do whatever he could to lead his team to an NBA to a championship. The rookie started in place for Kareem at the center position, and delivered the one of the best performances that has been seen in the NBA Finals — 42 points, 15 rebounds, and seven assists.
3. Big Game James Records Triple-Double In Game 7 Of The 1988 NBA Finals
In a crucial game that would decide the NBA champion of the 1987-1988 season, James Worthy would deliver one of the most spectacular performances in Laker history against the Detroit Pistons in the 1988 NBA Finals. Worthy would only career triple-double, scoring 36 points, grabbing 16 rebounds, and dishing out 10 assists. This championship would also be special due to the fact that it would be the Lakers second consecutive championship. Prior to the season, head coach Pat Riley had guaranteed that the Lakers would win back-to-back titles. This victory sealed that promise.
2. Lakers Finally Defeat Celtics In 1985 NBA Finals
Not only had the Lakers been unable to beat the Boston Celtics for the NBA title in eight previous matchups, but they had never even won a single game in the mythical Boston Garden during the NBA Finals. Coming into Game 6 of the 1985 NBA Finals, Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabarr, and the remaining members of the Laker roster would change that. This moment is special purely because of Boston. The Lakers would defeat the Celtics 111-100 in Game 6, giving the franchise its first NBA title over their archival, as well as their first road victory in Boston during the Finals.
1. Magic’s Sky Hook in Game 4 Of The 1987 NBA Finals
In Game 4 of the 1987 NBA Finals, Magic Johnson made one of the most difficult difficult shots in NBA history. With the opportunity to take a commanding 3-1 lead over the Boston Celtics, the Lakers gave the ball to their star player on the final possession of the game. Trailing by one point, Magic forced Kevin McHale to switch on to him after receiving a screen from Kareem. And rather than dishing the ball inside to Kareem who had the advantage with a smaller defender, Magic took matters into his own hands, went inside the paint and shot a remarkable hook shot over Celtics center Robert Parish. The shot is forever known as the “junior sky hook,” and will often be remembered as one of the greatest playoff moments in the storied history of the Los Angeles Lakers.