Coming off a second NBA championship under head coach Pat Riley, the Los Angeles Lakers began the 1985-86 season with sky-high expectations. Entering play on Jan. 14, 1986, the Lakers had already reached the 30-win plateau on the year while routinely dominating the opposition.
They looked to keep things rolling at The Forum against a struggling Phoenix Suns team, who suffered two 20-plus point defeats to Los Angeles earlier in the season. The Lakers jumped out to a six-point advantage over the Suns at the end of the first quarter, and extended that to 13 by halftime.
Los Angeles further padded that in the second half, as they outscored Phoenix for the third consecutive quarter and carried a 17-point lead into the final 12 minutes of play. The Lakers would tack on four more points to their lead in the fourth quarter to ensure another win.
For the third time that season, they stood victorious over the Suns in blowout fashion — this time by a final score of 143-122.
Leading the way for the Lakers was Magic Johnson, who enjoyed one of his best games of the season. In 35 minutes on the floor, he set the tone with 21 points and 19 assists — ultimately falling short of just one rebound of a triple-double.
James Worthy and Byron Scott complemented the Lakers offensively by combining for 44 points, five rebounds and five assists. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s defensive efforts earned him five blocks and one steal on the night, while he also contributed on the opposite end with 19 points, five rebounds and six assists in 28 minutes.
The Suns received a boost from power forward Larry Nance, who scored a game-high 30 points while converting 10 of his 20 field goal attempts. He additionally collected six rebounds, four assists and one steal in 36 minutes on the court — only committing one turnover in the process.
James Edwards added 20 points for Phoenix on 10-of-14 shooting and filled up the stat sheet with five rebounds and four assists in 28 minutes of action. Alvan Adams (18), Walter Davis (15) and Bernard Thompson (10) also reached double-digits in the contest to help the Suns collectively drop 122 points on the night against a solid Lakers defense.
Though Phoenix put up a good fight, the relentless Showtime Lakers offense ultimately prevailed with one of its best scoring displays on the season. Los Angeles improved to 30-6 with the win while the Suns fell to 14-22.
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