Record: 54-28, second place in Pacific Division
The 1980-81 season was a huge disappointment and set the stage for Paul Westhead's departure as coach of the team early the following season. The Lakers lost Magic Johnson for much of the season to a knee injury and finished second in their division.
Playoffs: Led by Moses Malone, the Rockets defeated the Lakers in a best-of-three first-round series.
Western Conference first round
- Houston 111, at Lakers 107
- Lakers 111, at Houston 106
- Houston 89, at Lakers 86