L.A.'s greatest sports moments No. 10: Magic's Game 6 in '80 Finals
We asked you to send in your picks for the greatest sports moments in L.A. history, and 1,181 ballots later we are unveiling the top 20 vote-getters. Each weekday we will unveil a new moment until we reach No. 1.
No. 10: Magic Johnson scores 42 points in Game 6 of 1980 NBA Finals (28 first-place votes, 2,945 points)
With legendary center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar sitting out Game 6 of the NBA Finals between the Lakers and Philadelphia 76ers because of a sprained ankle, most experts predicted a win by the 76ers to force a decisive seventh game. Most experts were wrong.
Lakers rookie Magic Johnson lined up at center to start the game, then went on a rampage, scoring 42 points, grabbing 15 rebounds and finishing with seven assists in a 123-107 Lakers victory.
"I don't even know if Kareem could have done things Magic did tonight," Julius Erving of the 76ers said after the game.
"Magic is no rookie," said teammate Jamaal Wilkes, who scored 37. "He's a winner, a champion, something very, very special."
For his efforts, Johnson was named Finals MVP.
-- Houston Mitchell
Photo: Magic Johnson is guarded by Julius Erving during the 1980 NBA Finals. Credit: Los Angeles Times