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Magic Johnson drives for two

Magic Johnson drives for two

Jan. 26, 1988: The Lakers’ Earvin “Magic” Johnson drives to the basket for one of his 22 points during a 111-100 victory over the Utah Jazz. During the 1987-88 season Johnson averaged 19.6 points per game and won his fifth NBA Championship ring during a tough seven-game series against the Detroit Pistons.

When a Laker lead against the Jazz dwindled, Johnson stepped forward. As reported by L.A. Times staff writer Gordon Edes:

It was a usual night’s work for Johnson, who finished with 22 points, 11 assists and 8 rebounds in 31 minutes, returning to the game only because it became necessary.

“It got down to five points, and he said, ‘Only if you need me,’ ” Laker Coach Pat Riley said. “I said, ‘I need you.’ “

For more on Magic Johnson, check out his bio on All Things Lakers.

This photo by former Los Angeles Times staff photographer Tammy Lechner was published on Jan. 27, 1988, with the Edes story.

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