On Dec. 2, 1988, the 10-3 Los Angeles Lakers prepared for a clash against the Utah Jazz. Coming off of back-to-back NBA championships, the Lakers were at the peak of their “Showtime” era. Magic Johnson lead the team, with contributions from James Worthy, Mychal Thompson, Byron Scott, and A.C. Green.
The Jazz, on the other hand, had pillars Karl Malone and John Stockton guiding them as they looked to reach the NBA Finals. However, Los Angeles was prepared for Jerry Sloan and the Jazz, as they opened up the flood-gates from the get go.
Going into halftime, the Lakers held a 10-point lead, scoring 58 points at their usual up-tempo pace. While Johnson was orchestrating Pat Riley’s offense, he was able to use his splendid court vision to help set up his teammates.
It set the stage for an extraordinary night, Johnson he finished the game with one of his 138 career triple-doubles. Johnson had a total of 17 points, 12 rebounds, 15 assists and three steals, shooting 8-for-12 from the field.
The Jazz simply were unprepared for the game, as the Lakers increased their lead coming out of halftime and caught Utah off-guard. At the end of three quarters, the Lakers held an 83-66 lead. With such a large lead, both teams were able to empty out their benches in the fourth quarter, with the Lakers escaping with a 113-92 victory.
Scott finished the contest with a game-high 32 points on 13-for-27 shooting, while also racking up five rebounds and two steals. Alongside Johnson in the backcourt, Scott flourished in the transition game, never afraid of meeting big men at the basket.
Whether a soft finish or a slam dunk, Scott ran the wings beautifully and made a lasting impression during his time with Los Angeles.
Worthy also collected 21 points and nine rebounds for the game, as the 1988 NBA Finals MVP served as the third option that night. On the other end, Malone and Stockton combined for just 18 total points, on 6-for-18 shooting.
The blowout was a pleasant reminder of just how good that 1988-89 team was, going on to lose to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals and ending their bid at a three-peat.
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