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Magic Johnson’s smarts send Lakers to 1991 NBA Finals


Throughout his storied profession with the Los Angeles Lakers, Magic Johnson found some ways to win games and championships for his team.

But in 1991, he found a recent method nobody could’ve expected.

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L.A. was facing the Portland Trail Blazers, a team that finished with the NBA’s best record, within the Western Conference Finals and held a 3-1 series lead going into Game 5.

The Lakers lost that contest in Oregon, and Hall of Fame forward James Worthy suffered a seriously sprained ankle, dampening their possibilities of winning the series, let alone winning all of it.

Game 6 in L.A. went right down to the wire, and with seconds left within the fourth quarter, the Purple and Gold led by one.

Blazers guard Terry Porter had take a look at an 18-footer, but he missed, and Johnson grabbed the rebound with about three seconds left.

As an alternative of protecting it and waiting for Portland to foul him, which is what players customarily do in that situation, he gently tossed the ball toward the opposite end.

The ball was too far down-court for the Blazers to retrieve it, but Johnson threw it soft enough to burn time without work the block before it went out of bounds with 0.1 seconds left.

Johnson’s ingenious play gave the Lakers a 91-90 win and a visit to the NBA Finals to face Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls.

It was the 187,549th example of how Johnson was a born champion.

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