1990–91 Los Angeles Lakers season

The 1990–91 NBA season was the Lakers' 43rd season in the National Basketball Association, and 31st in the city of Los Angeles. This season's highlight was Magic Johnson leading the Lakers to the NBA Finals, where they lost in five games to Michael Jordan's Chicago Bulls. The Lakers would not return to the Finals until 2000. The season is generally considered the final season of the team's successful, uptempo Showtime era.

During the offseason, the team signed unrestricted free agent Sam Perkins. The Lakers finished the regular season with a 58–24 record, but for the first time since the 1980–81 season, did not win their division. Johnson finished second behind Jordan in the voting for the NBA Most Valuable Player Award. Johnson was the league's third-oldest point guard, and had grown more powerful and stronger than in his earlier years, but was also slower and less nimble. Mike Dunleavy was the new head coach, the offense used more half-court sets, and the team had a renewed emphasis on defense. Johnson and James Worthy were both selected to play in the 1991 NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte.

In the first round of the playoffs, the Lakers swept the Houston Rockets in three straight games, then defeated the 7th-seeded Golden State Warriors in five games in the semifinals. In the Western Conference Finals, they defeated the top-seeded and Pacific Division champion Portland Trail Blazers in six games to advance to the NBA Finals.

Game 5 of the NBA Finals was the last Finals game played at the Forum. It was also Magic's last NBA game before his retirement that November due to his diagnosis with the HIV virus, although he would play in the All-Star Game in 1992 and the Dream Team that summer. Magic would make a brief return to the Lakers midway through the 1995–96 NBA season. After losing to the Houston Rockets in that year's playoffs, Magic retired again for good.

Draft picks


Roster listing
1990–91 Los Angeles Lakers roster
Pos.No.NameHeightWeightDOB (YYYY-MM-DD)From
PF41Campbell, Elden6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)215 lb (98 kg)1968–07–23Clemson
C12Divac, Vlade7 ft 1 in (2.16 m)243 lb (110 kg)1968–02–03Serbia
PG10Drew, Larry6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)170 lb (77 kg)1958–04–02Missouri
PF45Green, A. C.6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)220 lb (100 kg)1963–10–04Oregon State
PG32Johnson, Magic6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)215 lb (98 kg)1959–08–14Michigan State
PF14Perkins, Sam6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)235 lb (107 kg)1961–06–14North Carolina
SG4Scott, Byron6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)195 lb (88 kg)1961–03–28Arizona State
SG34Smith, Tony6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)185 lb (84 kg)1968–06–14Marquette
SG20Teagle, Terry6 ft 5 in (1.96 m)195 lb (88 kg)1960–04–10Baylor
PF30Thomas, Irving6 ft 8 in (2.03 m)225 lb (102 kg)1966–01–02Florida State
C43Thompson, Mychal6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)226 lb (103 kg)1955–01–30Minnesota
SF42Worthy, James6 ft 9 in (2.06 m)225 lb (102 kg)1961–02–27North Carolina
Head coach
Assistant coach(es)

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Last transaction: 1990–12–06

Regular season

  • April 15, 1991 – Magic Johnson established the standard for most assists in a career with 9,888. The previous record holder was Oscar Robertson. For the season, Magic would establish a team record with 989 assists for the season. Magic would finish the season with a career total of 9,921.

Season standings

y – clinched division title
x – clinched playoff spot
z – clinched division title
y – clinched division title
x – clinched playoff spot

Record vs. opponents

Game log


West First Round

(3) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (6) Houston Rockets: Lakers win series 3–0

Last Playoff Meeting: 1990 Western Conference First Round (Los Angeles won 3–1)

West Conference Semifinals

(3) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (7) Golden State Warriors: Lakers win series 4–1

Last Playoff Meeting: 1987 Western Conference Semifinals (Los Angeles won 4–1)

West Conference Finals

(1) Portland Trail Blazers vs. (3) Los Angeles Lakers: Lakers win series 4–2

Last Playoff Meeting: 1989 Western Conference First Round (Los Angeles won 3–0)

NBA Finals

Game 1

Sunday, June 2, at the Chicago Stadium

Los Angeles2922241893

Game 2

Wednesday, June 5, at the Chicago Stadium The Bulls shot a Finals record 61.7% from the floor—since broken by the Orlando Magic in Game 3 of the 2009 NBA Finals—with a Jordan layup over Sam Perkins a highlight.

Los Angeles2320261786

Game 3

Friday, June 7, at the Great Western Forum

Los Angeles25222520496

Game 4

Sunday, June 9, at the Great Western Forum

Los Angeles2816142482

Game 5

Wednesday, June 12, at the Great Western Forum

The Lakers were facing elimination, and the lack of Worthy and Scott was not any help to the Lakers. This would not stop Magic Johnson as Johnson had 20 assists in the game, but it was not enough. Elden Campbell outscored Michael Jordan with 13 points in the first half, but it was not enough. The Lakers still fought and even led 93-90 in the fourth quarter, but a Bulls 9-0 run, and Paxson's 10 points in the final half of the fourth quarter helped secure the Chicago Bulls, and Michael Jordan's, first NBA title.

Los Angeles25243121101

Player statistics

  GPGames played  GS Games started MPG Minutes per game
 FG% Field-goal percentage 3P% 3-point field-goal percentage FT% Free-throw percentage
 RPG Rebounds per game APG Assists per game SPG Steals per game
 BPG Blocks per game PPG Points per game



Awards and Records


External links

Uses material from the Wikipedia article 1990–91 Los Angeles Lakers season, released under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license.