Magic reappears with 14 assists, five points

October 18, 1992|By Los Angeles Times

HONOLULU -- Looking as if he had never been away -- OK, looking as if he had been away briefly -- Magic Johnson returned to the Los Angeles Lakers.

He played 27 minutes in yesterday morning's preseason opener and scored five points with 14 assists, as the Lakers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers, 124-112.

"I was thrilled," guard Byron Scott said. "I was thrilled to death. I was excited for him. I think he was excited. Everybody on the team who had played with him was excited."

Said Johnson, beaming: "I've got the same game I've always had. Get the ball to the open man."

Johnson took only four shots, the first coming 10 seconds into the game when Portland's Rod Strickland backed off, offering him a 20-footer. Johnson hit the shot.

"This is just the beginning stages," Johnson said. "What I'm doing now is trying to get ready for Nov. 6 [the season opener against the Los Angeles Clippers.]"

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