This Day In Lakers History: Magic Johnson Records Triple-Double In Western Conference Finals-Clinching Win Over Suns
John W. McDonough-Sports Illustrated

On May 25, 1984, the Los Angeles Lakers traveled to Arizona Veterans Memorial Coliseum for a potential elimination game against the Phoenix Suns in the Western Conference Finals. The Lakers held a 3-2 lead and looked to finish off their rival on the road.

It was a tightly-contested first quarter of play, as both teams nearly matched each other shot-for-shot. Nevertheless, the Lakers carried a one-point lead into the second quarter. Phoenix mounted a run, however, and got the best of Los Angeles’ bench corps.

The Suns outscored the Lakers by eight and entered halftime with a seven-point advantage. Facing adversity, the Lakers quickly answered back in the third and managed to cut the deficit to one with just 12 minutes left of regulation.

While Phoenix put forth their best effort, it was Los Angeles to come out on top by a final score of 99-97 — and subsequently advancing to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive year.

Magic Johnson contributed one of his best performances of the season in the form of a triple-double. In 43 minutes, he tallied 16 points on 7-of-13 shooting with 13 assists and 11 rebounds.

James Worthy led the Lakers with 22 points while Michael Cooper, despite shooting only 2-of-11 from the field, filled up the stat sheet with 10 points, 10 assists and five rebounds in 32 minutes of action.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar just missed a double-double with 13 points and nine boards while Byron Scott added scoring depth off the bench with 13 points as well.

For the Suns, Larry Nance saw the most time on the court with 42 minutes. He contributed 11 points with 12 rebounds, six assists and three blocks to boot.

Walter Davis (26) and Maurice Lucas (21) both exceeded the 20-point threshold, with the latter collecting a game-high 13 boards, but it was to no avail as the Lakers’ top-10 defensive unit prevailed.

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