Trail Blazers clinch division, 118-113 Lakers' loss ends 9-year Pacific reign

April 14, 1991

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Portland Trail Blazers ended the Los Angeles Lakers' nine-year reign yesterday, clinching the National Basketball Association Pacific Division title with an intense 118-113 victory over Los Angeles.

The Blazers, who won their only other division crown 13 years ago, blew a 20-point lead in the third quarter but came back behind the play of Clyde Drexler and Terry Porter for their 13th straight victory.

It was a franchise-record 60th victory of the season for Portland, assuring the Blazers at least a tie with the Lakers atop the division standings when the season ends four games from now.

But because Portland won the season series with Los Angeles, 3-2, the Blazers would be considered the division champion and have the home-court advantage throughout the Western Conference playoffs.

Drexler scored 31 points, including a crucial 20-footer with 15 seconds to play. Porter added 23 points and 16 assists and made two free throws to clinch the victory with 7.3 seconds to play.

Drexler's late jumper, which gave Portland a 116-111 lead, atoned for two free throws he missed with 1 minute, 37 seconds remaining and his team leading, 112-109. Portland's Buck Williams was called for a foul while trying to rebound the second miss.

Sam Perkins, who scored 17 of his 32 points in the final quarter, sank both subsequent free throws to cut the lead to 112-111 with 1:36 to play. Kevin Duckworth boosted the lead back to three points with an inside basket 18 seconds later.

Byron Scott couldn't catch Johnson's length-of-the-court pass with 34 seconds to go and Drexler followed with his jumper.

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