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1979-80 Season The Lakers won an NBA title this season

Record: 60-22, first place in Pacific Division

During the off-season, owner Jack Kent Cooke sold the Lakers and the Great Western Forum to Jerry Buss for $67.5 million. Buss brought in Jack McKinney as the new coach. McKinney coached the team to a 10-4 record before suffering a life-threatening injury in a bicycle accident. He was replaced by Paul Westhead. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won his sixth NBA MVP award as the Lakers stormed to a 60-22 record.

Playoffs: The Lakers easily advanced to the NBA Finals, in which Julius Erving and Philadelphia 76ers waited. After splitting the first two games, the Lakers won Game 5 thanks in large part to the 40 points scored by Abdul-Jabbar, but the Lakers center suffered a sprained ankle in the game.

With Abdul-Jabbar unable to play in Game 6, Magic Johnson turned in perhaps the greatest performance in NBA Finals history. Still just a 20-year-old rookie, Johnson scored 42 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and had seven assists to carry the Lakers to a victory and the NBA title.

Playoff Results


Western Conference semifinals


  • at Lakers 119, Phoenix 110 (OT)

  • at Lakers 131, Phoenix 128 (OT)

  • Lakers 108, at Phoenix 105

  • at Phoenix 127, Lakers 101

  • at Lakers 126, Phoenix 101



Western Conference finals


  • Seattle 108, at Lakers 107

  • at Lakers 108, Seattle 99

  • Lakers 104, at Seattle 100

  • Lakers 98, at Seattle 93

  • at Lakers 111, Seattle 105




NBA Finals


  • at Lakers 109, Philadephia 102

  • Philadephia 107, at Lakers 104

  • Lakers 111, at Philadephia 101

  • at Philadephia 105, Lakers 102

  • at Lakers 108, Philadephia 103

  • Lakers 123, at Philadephia 107


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