1990–91 Los Angeles Lakers season
The 1990–91 NBA season was the Lakers' 43rd season in the National Basketball Association, and 31st in the city of Los Angeles. This season's highlight was Magic Johnson leading the Lakers to the NBA Finals, where they lost in five games to Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls. The Lakers would not return to the Finals until 2000. The season is generally considered the final season of the team's successful, uptempo Showtime era.
|1990–91 Los Angeles Lakers season|
|Head coach||Mike Dunleavy, Sr.|
|Arena||Great Western Forum|
|Place||Division: 2nd (Pacific)|
Conference: 3rd (Western)
|Playoff finish||NBA Finals|
(Lost to Bulls 1–4)
During the offseason, the team signed unrestricted free agent Sam Perkins. The Lakers finished the regular season with a 58–24 record, but for the first time since the 1980–81 season, did not win their division. Johnson finished second behind Jordan in the voting for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Johnson was the league's third-oldest point guard, and had grown more powerful and stronger than in his earlier years, but was also slower and less nimble. Mike Dunleavy was the new head coach, the offense used more half-court sets, and the team had a renewed emphasis on defense. Johnson and James Worthy were both selected to play in the 1991 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte.
In the first round of the playoffs, the Lakers swept the Houston Rockets in three straight games, then defeated the 7th-seeded Golden State Warriors in five games in the semifinals. In the Western Conference Finals, they defeated the top-seeded and Pacific Division champion Portland Trail Blazers in six games to advance to the NBA Finals.
Game 5 of the NBA Finals was the last Finals game played at the Forum. It was also Magic's last NBA game before his retirement in November 1991 due to an HIV virus, although he would play in the All-Star Game in 1992 and the Dream Team that summer. Magic would make a brief return to the Lakers midway through the 1995–96 NBA season. After losing to the Houston Rockets in that year's playoffs, Magic retired again for good.
|1||27||Elden Campbell||PF/C||United States||Clemson|
|2||51||Tony Smith||SG||United States||Marquette|
Los Angeles Lakers roster
- April 15, 1991 – Magic Johnson established the standard for most assists in a career with 9,888. The previous record holder was Oscar Robertson. For the season, Magic would establish a team record with 989 assists for the season. Magic would finish the season with a career total of 9,921.
|y-Portland Trail Blazers||63||19||.768||—||36–5||27–14||18-10|
|x-Los Angeles Lakers||58||24||.707||5||33–8||25-16||19-9|
|x-Golden State Warriors||44||38||.537||19||30–11||14–27||13–15|
|Los Angeles Clippers||31||51||.378||32||23–18||8-33||10-18|
- y – clinched division title
- x – clinched playoff spot
|1||z-Portland Trail Blazers||63||19||.768||–|
|2||y-San Antonio Spurs||55||27||.671||8|
|3||x-Los Angeles Lakers||58||24||.707||5|
|7||x-Golden State Warriors||44||38||.537||19|
|10||Los Angeles Clippers||31||51||.378||32|
- z – clinched division title
- y – clinched division title
- x – clinched playoff spot
Record vs. opponentsEdit
|1990-91 NBA Records|
West First RoundEdit
(3) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (6) Houston Rockets: Lakers win series 3–0
- Game 1 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (April 25): Los Angeles 94, Houston 92
- Game 2 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (April 27): Los Angeles 109, Houston 98
- Game 3 @ The Summit, Houston (April 30): Los Angeles 94, Houston 90
Last Playoff Meeting: 1990 Western Conference First Round (Los Angeles won 3–1)
West Conference SemifinalsEdit
(3) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (7) Golden State Warriors: Lakers win series 4–1
- Game 1 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 5): Los Angeles 126, Golden State 116
- Game 2 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 8): Golden State 125 , Los Angeles 124
- Game 3 @ Oakland Coliseum, Oakland (May 10): Los Angeles 115, Golden State 112
- Game 4 @ Oakland Coliseum, Oakland (May 12): Los Angeles 123, Golden State 107
- Game 5 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 14): Los Angeles 124, Golden State 119 (0T)
Last Playoff Meeting: 1987 Western Conference Semifinals (Los Angeles won 4–1)
West Conference FinalsEdit
(1) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (3) Los Angeles Lakers: Lakers win series 4–2
- Game 1 @ Memorial Coliseum, Portland (May 18): Los Angeles 111, Portland 106
- Game 2 @ Memorial Coliseum, Portland (May 21): Portland 109, Los Angeles 98
- Game 3 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 24): Los Angeles 106, Portland 92
- Game 4 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 26): Los Angeles 116, Portland 95
- Game 5 @ Memorial Coliseum, Portland (May 28): Portland 95, Los Angeles 84
- Game 6 @ Great Western Forum, Los Angeles (May 30): Los Angeles 91, Portland 90
Last Playoff Meeting: 1989 Western Conference First Round (Los Angeles won 3–0)
Sunday, June 2, at the Chicago Stadium
Wednesday, June 5, at the Chicago Stadium The Bulls shot a Finals record 61.7% from the floor—since broken by the Orlando Magic in Game 3 of the 2009 NBA Finals—with a Jordan layup over Sam Perkins a highlight.
Friday, June 7, at the Great Western Forum
Sunday, June 9, at the Great Western Forum
Wednesday, June 12, at the Great Western Forum
The Lakers were facing elimination, and the lack of Worthy and Scott was not any help to the Lakers. This would not stop Magic Johnson as Johnson had 20 assists in the game, but it was not enough. Elden Campbell outscored Michael Jordan with 13 points in the first half, but it was not enough. The Lakers still fought and even led 93-90 in the fourth quarter, but a Bulls 9-0 run, and Paxson's 10 points in the final half of the fourth quarter helped secure the Chicago Bulls, and Michael Jordan's, first NBA title.
|GP||Games played||GS||Games started||MPG||Minutes per game|
|FG%||Field-goal percentage||3P%||3-point field-goal percentage||FT%||Free-throw percentage|
|RPG||Rebounds per game||APG||Assists per game||SPG||Steals per game|
|BPG||Blocks per game||PPG||Points per game|
|A. C. Green||82||516||71||59||23||750||9.1|
Awards and RecordsEdit
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- 1990-91 Los Angeles Lakers
- Price, Victoria (2000). "The Los Angeles Lakers". St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. Farmington Hills, Michigan: The Gale Group Inc. Archived from the original on March 28, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2012 – via HighBeam Research.
Some see the big man's retirement as the end of Showtime, others cite Pat Riley's departure the following year, but most Lakers' fans feel that Showtime came to an end when Magic Johnson announced that he was HIV-positive.
- "'Magic'al Mystery Tour Over". Times-Union. Warsaw, Indiana. January 30, 1996. p. 7A. Retrieved December 7, 2012.
- "Amid Pressing Matters, Jordan Accepts M.V.P." The New York Times. May 21, 1991.
- Perlman, Jeff (2014). Showtime: Magic, Kareem, Riley, and the Los Angeles Lakers Dynasty of the 1980s. Gotham Books. p. 397. ISBN 978-1-59240-755-2.
- Aldridge, Dave (June 2, 1991). "Johnson Not Ready To Pass Mantle; For 9th Time, Lakers Show Magic Touch". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on March 28, 2015. Retrieved December 7, 2012 – via HighBeam Research.
But after a slow start under new coach Mike Dunleavy, Los Angeles found out that new weapons and new emphasis on defense could take it to the same place as Showtime did during the 1980s.
- "Magic Breaks Record for Assists". The New York Times. April 16, 1991.
- on YouTube