This Day In Lakers History: Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar And Jamaal Wilkes Lead L.A. To Sweep Of Suns
Jamaal Wilkes, Lakers
Andy Hayt-Sports Illustrated

The Los Angeles Lakers of the 1980s boasted some of the most talented, stacked rosters that the NBA has ever seen. Multiple Hall of Famers were on the roster and they were supplemented by perfect role players who did their job perfectly.

The 1982 Lakers were deep, with six players averaging in double-figures during the regular season, led by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Jamaal Wilkes. Meanwhile, Magic Johnson nearly averaged a triple-double in his third season, and the Lakers finished with the top record in the Western Conference.

L.A. was looking to get back to the top of the NBA after a disappointing loss in the first round of the playoffs the previous year, and the first step of that was taking on the Phoenix Suns.

The Lakers showed that Phoenix was nowhere near their level and on May 2, 1992, it was Magic, Kareem, and Silk who put the hammer down in a 112-107 victory to complete the four-game sweep.

Kareem led the way with 24 points, 13 rebounds and six assists, while Wilkes added 24 points, knocking down 11 of his 16 shots from the field. Not to be outdone, Magic posted a triple-double with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists.

As usual, the Lakers also got plenty of help from their outstanding role players. Norm Nixon added 17 points and four steals, while the bench duo of Bob McAdoo and Michael Cooper added 14 and 11 points, respectively.

In a sign of things to come, future Boston Celtics point guard Dennis Johnson did everything he could to thwart the Lakers with 31 points. Larry Nance Sr., father of former Lakers forward Larry Nance Jr., had 16 points and five blocks, but they were just no match.

This Lakers team was loaded and on a mission to reclaim their throne as NBA champions. With Johnson, Abdul-Jabbar and Wilkes leading the way, they easily dispatched of the Suns to kickstart that journey.

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