Well before he was taking much of the blame for the failures of a young Los Angeles Lakers team, Byron Scott was an exciting guard that fit in perfectly with the ‘Showtime’ style the franchise made popular in the 1980s.
Drafted in 1984 out of Arizona State, Scott quickly became a starter and by the 1987-88 season, he was the team’s leading scorer ahead of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and James Worthy.
This was on display on Jan. 12, 1988, when the Lakers took on the Golden State Warriors. Six Lakers scored in double-figures, led by Scott’s 30 points as they took home a 117-113 victory, extending their win streak to 15 games.
This game was likely a matter of the Lakers overlooking a five-win Warriors team as they had to overcome an 11-point halftime deficit to get the win. Scott added four rebounds, three assists, and three steals to help the Lakers, who also got a double-double from Magic as he finished with 20 points and 14 assists.
L.A. also received 20 points and seven rebounds from Worthy and 16 points and seven rebounds from Kareem. Off the bench, Michael Cooper added 15 points and six assists and Mychal Thompson scored 10 points as the Lakers truly had a team effort.
This squad was the final championship team from the 1980s and the depth on this team was a major reason why, as this game showed. Even if a player struggled, the Lakers had others who were more than capable of stepping up, making them almost impossible to stop.
Unfortunately their winning streak would end just one night later as the Lakers fell to the Clippers in overtime. Nonetheless, on this night it was Byron Scott leading the team and hopefully reminding today’s fans that he is far more than just a coaching punchline.
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