The 1988-89 season saw another expansion with two more teams joining the mix. This brought the NBA’s total to 25, 13 in the Western Conference and 12 in the east. The Los Angeles Lakers were the cream of the crop for yet another season, even as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar reached 41 years of age.
They went 57-25 thanks to MVP Magic Johnson and swept the entire Western Conference playoffs, going 11-0. Meanwhile, injuries to multiple key players for the Boston Celtics led to them slipping to the No. 8 seed, where they were swept out of the first round.
The Detroit Pistons were on a mission in 1989 as they had come so close to winning the championship a year before. They got to the Finals with ease to set up a rematch with the Lakers.
In the Finals, Johnson was injured and the Lakers were clearly nearing the end of a dynasty, as the Pistons clobbered L.A. in four games. The Pistons cemented themselves as champions, winning it all for the first time in team history.
NBA regular season statistics
NBA regular season schedule and results
NBA playoffs statistics
NBA playoffs schedule and results