1985–86 Los Angeles Lakers season
The 1985–86 Los Angeles Lakers season was the 40th season of the franchise, 38th in the National Basketball Association (NBA) and 26th in Los Angeles. The Lakers entered the season as the defending NBA champion, having defeated the previous NBA champion and rival Boston Celtics in the 1985 NBA Finals in six games, having finally defeated the Celtics in the NBA Finals after having lost to them 8 consecutive times in the championship series. The Lakers looked to repeat as NBA Champions, after sweeping the San Antonio Spurs in three games in the First Round, and then defeating the Dallas Mavericks in six games in the Semifinals in the playoffs, but were unable to defend their title, as they lost to the Houston Rockets in the Conference Finals in five games after winning the first game, but proceeded to lose the following four. The Rockets would go on to lose to the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals in six games.
The 1985 NBA Draft took place on June 18, 1985. It was also the first NBA Draft of the "Lottery" era. The lottery was put into place so teams did not have to intentionally lose games to receive the number one pick.
- On Wednesday, December 4, 1985, Maurice Lucas made a 60-foot shot at the regulation buzzer to send the game into overtime. The Lakers would go on to defeat the Utah Jazz 131-127.
- The Lakers started the season 19-2.
- On Wednesday, January 22, 1986, the Boston Celtics (31-8) defeated the defending champion Lakers (32-8) 110-95 in a matchup of the league's two best teams.
- On Friday, January 24, 1986, the Boston Celtics (32-8) overtook the Los Angeles Lakers (32-9) as the team with the best record in the NBA. The Celtics maintained the league's best record for the remainder of the season.
- On Thursday, February 6, 1986, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 46 points in a game against the Houston Rockets, his highest single-game total since a 48-point performance against the Portland Trail Blazers on November 26, 1975. The Lakers defeated the Rockets 117-95.
- On Sunday, February 16, 1986, in the season's second matchup between the Celtics and Lakers, this time in the Forum. Boston won again, 105-99 despite not having All-Star Kevin McHale in the lineup.
Record vs. opponents
|1985–86 game log|
Total: 62–20 (Home: 35–6; Road: 27–14)
|1986 playoff game log|
West First Round
- Game 1 @ The Forum, Los Angeles (April 17): Los Angeles 135, San Antonio 88
- Game 2 @ The Forum, Los Angeles (April 19): Los Angeles 122, San Antonio 94
- Game 3 @ HemisFair Arena, San Antonio (April 23): Los Angeles 114, San Antonio 94
Last Playoff Meeting: 1983 Western Conference Finals (Los Angeles won 4–2)
West Conference Semifinals
- Game 1 @ The Forum, Los Angeles (April 27): Los Angeles 130, Dallas 116
- Game 2 @ The Forum, Los Angeles (April 30): Los Angeles 117, Dallas 113
- Game 3 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas (May 2): Dallas 110, Los Angeles 108
- Game 4 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas (May 4): Dallas 120, Los Angeles 118
- Game 5 @ The Forum, Los Angeles (May 6): Los Angeles 116, Dallas 113
- Game 6 @ Reunion Arena, Dallas (May 8): Los Angeles 120, Dallas 107
Last Playoff Meeting: 1984 Western Conference Semifinals (Los Angeles won 4–1)
West Conference Finals
- Game 1 @ The Forum, Los Angeles (May 10): Los Angeles 119, Houston 107
- Game 2 @ The Forum, Los Angeles (May 13): Houston 112, Los Angeles 102
- Game 3 @ The Summit, Houston (May 16): Houston 117, Los Angeles 109
- Game 4 @ The Summit, Houston (May 18): Houston 105, Los Angeles 95
- Game 5 @ The Forum, Los Angeles (May 21): Houston 114, Los Angeles 112
Last Playoff Meeting: 1981 Western Conference First Round (Houston won 2–1)
Note: GP= Games played; MPG= Minutes per Game; REB = Rebounds; AST = Assists; STL = Steals; BLK = Blocks; PTS = Points; PPG = Points per Game
- Michael Cooper, J. Walter Kennedy Citizenship Award
- Magic Johnson, All-NBA First Team
- Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, All-NBA First Team
- Michael Cooper, NBA All-Defensive Second Team