Lakers' Break Takes Flight
INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- After Sunday's supersonic 137-104 victory over the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers might want to consider a move to Edwards Air Force Base.
Life there among the jet fighters might more befit the fast-breaking Lakers than the Forum, where they soared to victory in Game 3 of the NBA championship series, taking a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 will be played here Wednesday (9 p.m., Chs. 4, 34).
The Lakers' Magic Johnson set a title-series record by dealing 21 assists en route to his first triple-double outing (he also had 11 rebounds and 14 points) of this series.
The Lakers had loads of the right stuff in their championship-series-record 47-point third quarter, which was more points than Boston scored in the entire first half (46).
The Lakers ran the break an astounding 51 times and cashed in with points 37 times (72.5 percent efficiency) and otherwise became a purple-and-gold blur as a sellout crowd of 17,505 watched and cheered.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who limited Boston center Robert Parish to nine points, scored 24 himself. Kurt Rambis, who held Cedric Maxwell to nine, hit a playoff-high 17 points on seven-for-seven shooting. Bob McAdoo added 21 off the bench while seven Lakers scored in double figures.
Meanwhile, the poor-shooting Celtics (they hit only 39.6 percent of their shots), put only four players in double figures, led by Larry Bird's game-high 30. The loss was Boston's worst ever in a title series.
In short, the Lakers were fighting with jets and missiles while the Celtics were burdened with ill-firing popguns.
"It's the greatest feeling when that happens, because you feel like you can't be stopped," said Johnson, reflecting on his team's fast break. "It was just great.
"It's a feeling that you have that makes you feel so good, and it happens so quick. When we're going like this, there's nothing to defense us. If we can make them turn it over or make them take a shot they don't want to take, we're gone."
And that was all the strategy there was to this one.
"They just kept pushing the ball down our throats," moaned Bird.
"They just came back in waves," said Parish.
"It was very humbling," said Maxwell.
Reversing the pattern on the boards set during Games 1 and 2, the Lakers this time buried the Celtics in rebounding, grabbing 63 to Boston's 44.
That, coupled with 13 Boston turnovers that led to 15 Laker points, keyed a fast break that was devastating.
The Lakers ran out to an 18-4 lead in the first quarter and then withstood a 36-17 comeback run by Boston in the second by reeling off 18 straight points en route to a 53-40 lead with just over two minutes to go in the first half.
They entered the third period on top by 57-46.
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