1984 NBA Finals
Larry v. Magic: Game 8
Larry v. Magic: Game-by-Game Summary
Larry v. Magic: Game-by-Game Media Coverage
The Lakers did not take the most direct route to Boston, but they are used to those kinds of delays.
Last season, after taking a 3-1 lead over the San Antonio Spurs in the four-of-seven-game Western Conference championship series, the Lakers lost a critical fifth game at home and were forced to win the title on a Friday night in Texas.
The following Sunday, after a cross-country flight and time for only one practice - in a ballroom at their hotel headquarters in Philadelphia - they lost the opening game of their final series against the Philadelphia 76ers. The Lakers never recovered and were swept in four games.
This year, the Lakers took a 3-1 lead against the t Phoenix Suns, but lost at home Wednesday. But on Friday night, the Lakers qualified for a showdown with the Celtics by surviving a last-minute comeback and gaining a 99-97 victory at Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Was this the beginning of a similar experience for the Lakers?
"I don't think so," said Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who rebounded from a trancelike 2-point performance in the first half to score 11 points and make the game-winning assist on an over-the-head, give-and-go play to Earvin (Magic) Johnson that resulted in a layup with just over a minute left.