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 finally reach No. 1.
No. 2: Magic's junior sky hook (32 first-place votes, 3,788 points)
Magic Johnson firmly established himself as the Lakers’ offensive leader in the 1986-87 season, so it was appropriate that he made the biggest shot of that championship year.
Coach Pat Riley decided that season that Magic would be the Lakers’ No. 1 option on offense instead of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, the NBA’s all-time leading scorer but also 39 years old at the time.
Magic’s scoring average increased five points from the previous season to a career-high 23.9 a game. He also led the NBA in assists, helped the Lakers compile a league-best 65-17 record and won his first most valuable player award.
The Lakers rolled to the NBA Finals, winning 11 of 12 playoff games to set up another matchup with the Boston Celtics. After the Lakers’ fast-break offense led to two routs at the Forum, there was considerable talk of a sweep.
But the defending champion Celtics rallied for a Game 3 win in Boston and built a 16-point lead in the third quarter of Game 4. While most of his teammates struggled, Magic kept the Lakers in the game, scoring 27 points through three quarters and helping them enter the final 12 minutes down by only seven.
The fourth quarter was a classic. The Lakers tied the score midway through the period, fell behind by eight with 3 1/2 minutes left, then scored nine in a row to take a one-point lead with 29 seconds left. Larry Bird’s three-point basket with 12 seconds left put the Celtics ahead by two.