Lakers hit fast forward, give Trail Blazers pause L.A. takes 3-1 lead with 116-95 rout

May 27, 1991|By Mark Heisler | Mark Heisler,Los Angeles Times

INGLEWOOD, Calif. -- Look for this one in your video stores.

The Los Angeles Lakers crammed a highlight reel into 48 minutes yesterday and stunned the Portland Trail Blazers, 116-95, sending them back home feetfirst, down, 3-1, in the National Basketball Association Western Conference finals.

If you blinked, you may have missed their turnaround. One spring after their debacle against the Phoenix Suns, the Lakers now flirt with team-of-destiny status and their first trip to the NBA Finals since 1989.

They are 10-2 in the postseason.

They had a 20-point lead Friday against what recently was known as the best team in basketball.

Yesterday, they were up 33.

The Lakers even ran like the Lakers.

Honk if you remember Showtime.

"A lot of people said it's dead, but it's still around," Magic Johnson said, grinning faintly. "It just took us this long to finally get to it."

It took them one new coach and five new players. A year later, they have emerged, as efficient and intelligent as any group in the game, able to dominate a team widely held to be better than they are.

"I definitely think that," Johnson said. "We're an intelligent team. We know what we're doing. We know what we have to do. We don't deviate.

"Without a doubt, they have more talent than we do. Without a doubt."

Yesterday's game, so important for both teams, was supposed to be a war and the Trail Blazers stole the first skirmish, scoring on eight of the first 10 possessions, out-rebounding the Lakers, Something funny happened again, though.

As has been the case all series, Portland was unable to shake the Lakers. After playing their very best, the Trail Blazers led, 17-14.

At that point, Mike Dunleavy called time out and regrouped his defense.

From then until Johnson left the game with 6 minutes, 55 #F seconds left, the Lakers outscored the Blazers, 92-60.

The Lakers led, 32-23, after one quarter, an astonishing 62-42 at the half as desperate Portland coach Rick Adelman junked his normal substitution pattern, playing veteran Walter Davis ahead of Danny Ainge, looking for a new face and a hot hand.

Dunleavy spent halftime reminding the Lakers of that March game in which the Trail Blazers rubbed out a 21-point deficit in 11 minutes of the third quarter here.

Good pupils, the Lakers saw the Trail Blazers cut it to 66-53, then hit them between the eyes again.

It was 93-71 after three quarters, 106-73 with 8:12 left.

The once-mellow Forum went up in joy, cheering so loudly at several breaks that the Laker Girls could not dance.

"The crowd was just amazing," A.C. Green said. "I knew it was out there, but it was just great to finally see it.

"It was fun. It was absolutely fun.

"I ran into Sam [Perkins] one time going for a rebound. I hit him and Portland got the ball. We looked at one another and Magic looked at us, and we all just started laughing."

It's great to be a Laker today, not so good to be a Trail Blazer.

Adelman, wearing the look Pat Riley wore a year ago against the Suns, praised the Lakers up to a point.

"I've got to give them credit," he said, "but I think we're shooting ourselves in the foot all the time.

"Once we started to miss some shots, we had a tendency to quick-shoot, not to push the ball. It seemed like they made every shot, even when we defended them. Between now and Tuesday, we have to come up with an answer."

FG..FT..Reb

Portland Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts.

Kersey 32 10-17 5-5 1-4 1 4 25

Williams 27 4-7 2-3 3-8 0 3 10

Duckworth 25 2-4 3-4 3-4 2 4 7

Drexler 38 6-16 2-2 3-8 7 3 14

Porter 33 4-10 2-2 0-2 10 1 10

Robinson 23 1-7 0-0 1-3 3 4 2

Ainge 13 0-2 0-0 0-2 1 1 0

Davis 22 7-14 0-0 1-2 1 0 14

Bryant 12 3-5 1-2 2-4 0 1 7

Cooper 6 1-2 0-0 1-3 1 0 2

Young 5 1-3 0-0 0-0 3 0 2

Abdelnaby 4 1-3 0-0 0-1 0 0 2

Totals 240 40-90 15-18 15-41 29 21 95

Percentages: FG .444, FT .833. 3-point goals: 0-5, .000 (Porter 0-2, Drexler 0-1, Robinson 0-1, Davis 0-1). Team rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 4 (Kersey, Drexler, Ainge, Bryant). Turnovers: 19 (Drexler 5, Williams 3, Duckworth 3, Robinson 3, Porter 2, Ainge 2, Cooper). Steals: 6 (Drexler 2, Davis 2, Kersey, Porter). Technical fouls: Illegal defense, 6:12, 3rd. Illegal defense: 1.

FG.. FT..Reb

L.A. Lakers Min M-A M-A O-T A PF Pts.

Perkins 31 5-7 1-2 0-4 1 3 12

Worthy 39 9-18 0-0 3-5 6 3 18

Divac 30 7-12 6-7 2-4 0 4 20

Johnson 38 8-15 4-5 1-9 9 1 22

Scott 30 6-8 1-2 1-5 1 2 13

Green 28 5-11 6-6 5-7 1 2 16

Teagle 19 3-12 3-3 0-3 2 1 9

Drew 10 2-4 0-0 0-1 3 1 4

Campbell 8 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 2 0

Thompson 5 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0

Smith 2 1-3 0-0 1-1 0 0 2

Totals 240 46-90 21-25 13-40 23 19 116

Percentages: FG .511, FT .840. 3-point goals: 3-11, .273 (Johnson 2-6, Perkins 1-1, Worthy 0-2, Scott 0-2). Team rebounds: 12. Blocked shots: 8 (Perkins 3, Divac 3, Green, Thompson). Turnovers: 14 (Worthy 3, Divac 2, Johnson 2, Green 2, Drew 2, Scott, Teagle, Campbell). Steals: 12 (Worthy 3, Divac 3, Johnson 2, Scott 2, Teagle, Campbell). Technical fouls: None. Illegal defense: None.

Portland 23 19 29 24 -- 95

L.A. Lakers 32 30 31 23 -- 116

A: 17,505. T: 2:12. Officials: Dan Crawford, Bill Oakes, Jack Madden.

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.