Record: 47-35, third place in Pacific Division
The most important part of the 1978-79 season for the Lakers didn't directly involve the team. The Lakers had acquired a first-round pick in the 1979 NBA draft from New Orleans when the Jazz signed Gail Goodrich as a free agent before the 1976-77 season. That pick turned out to be the No. 1 overall selection when the Jazz finished with the league's worst record in 1978-79. After that season, the Lakers used the pick to select Magic Johnson, setting up the Showtime era.
Playoffs: The Lakers lost to Seattle in the Western Conference semifinals. The SuperSonics went on to win the NBA title.
Western Conference first round
- at Denver 110, Lakers 105
- at Lakers 121, Denver 109
- Lakers 112, at Denver 111
Western Conference semifinals
- at Seattle 112, Lakers 101
- at Seattle 108, Lakers 103 (OT)
- at Lakers 118, Seattle 112 (OT)
- Seattle 117, at Lakers 115
- at Seattle 106, Lakers 100