Lakers Win It on Abdul-Jabbar . . . Jump Shot?

Times Staff Writer

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar has won a lot of games over the years with his sky hook, but Friday night, he beat the Seattle SuperSonics with a jump shot .

Abdul-Jabbar took an inbounds pass from James Worthy, faked a sky hook and made a 10-foot fallaway jumper over Sonic backup center George Johnson with three seconds left to lift the Lakers to a 108-107 win before a sellout crowd of 17,505 at the Forum.

“We went to Kareem, and he took the turnaround jumper,” Coach Pat Riley said. “They took away the sky hook, but his jumper is not a bad shot. We must have won at least four to five games with that shot.

“James made the great pass. James asked when we broke the huddle if the pass should go in to Kareem. I told him to look, and if he was open, throw it.”


Abdul-Jabbar finished with a game-high 31 points, making 12 of 19 shots from the field and 7 of 10 free throws. He also had six rebounds.

“It wasn’t even supposed to go to me,” Abdul-Jabbar said of the last play. “But James had the option of going to me if they were guarding everyone else.

“I knew George (Johnson) would be there waiting for me. I faked one way, and he committed to defend against the sky hook, so I shot the best jumper I could.

“I’ve shot enough of them (jump shots) in practice that if I get an open one, I might be able to put it down.”

Abdul-Jabbar didn’t seem that excited after he hit the game-winner, but he said: “I really didn’t show that much emotion outwardly, but I did inside. It’s not all the time I get the game-winning shot.”

Said Worthy: “I was very surprised that they didn’t have more defense around Kareem. Seattle’s record doesn’t indicate how good they have been playing. It’s good to have a game like this now and then.”


The Lakers had won their last two games by an average of 16.5 points, so a close call was almost a welcome change.

Magic Johnson had 14 points, a season-high 16 rebounds and 17 assists. It was his second triple-double of the season.

Guard Byron Scott returned to the starting lineup for the first time since he suffered a strained left hamstring on Nov. 12 against Utah. Scott scored 28 points, including a pair of three-pointers.

Scott had 18 points in the first half. He made a three-point shot on a 24-foot jumper with 30 seconds left in the half to give the Lakers a 56-54 lead, and Worthy scored on a breakaway off a pass from Johnson with seven seconds left for a 58-54 lead at intermission.

The Lakers (14-2) have won three straight games. Seattle, which had a three-game winning streak broken, is 7-10.

The Sonics led, 107-106, after Tom Chambers made a 17-foot jumper with 15 seconds left in the fourth quarter. They had a chance to put the game out of reach when Maurice Lucas fouled Xavier McDaniel with eight seconds left. But McDaniel missed both free throws.


“Obviously, I would have liked to have had those two free throws back since they would have put us in a great position to win the game,” McDaniel said. “I just have to forget about it though and go on from here. You can’t come out on top all the time.”

Chambers led the Sonics with 30 points, 20 in the first half. McDaniel had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Tim McCormick and Jack Sikma had 14 points apiece before they fouled out in the fourth quarter.

“This was a big game for us,” Sonic Coach Bernie Bickerstaff said. “It was a test to see what we were all about. We showed character, hanging in there and coming back.

“Kareem took the shot we wanted him to take, and he knocks it down. We couldn’t front him and we had the double-team if he turned to the middle, but he went baseline. George (Johnson) did a good job on him. But he did what he was supposed to do and won the game.”

Asked if he considered it a moral victory to stay close to the Lakers, Bickerstaff said: “It’s no kind of victory, at all. After playing well at home for three games, I just didn’t want to come down here and get blown out. Even though we didn’t win, our confidence should be up.”

The Lakers led, 88-81, at the end of the third quarter, but Seattle cut the lead to 97-96 with 5:24 left in the fourth quarter after McCormick scored on a layup.


After Abdul-Jabbar made a free throw with 5:15 left, Seattle tied it at 98-98 when Ricky Sobers made a layup with 4:21 left.

The Sonics took a 100-98 lead with 3:47 left on a layup by McDaniel.

The Lakers, who made just 3 of their first 16 shots in the fourth quarter, scored one point in a three-minute stretch of the fourth quarter as the Sonics came back. The Lakers had only one field goal from the 8:05-remaining mark of the fourth quarter when Abdul-Jabbar made a three-point play until Worthy dunked off a pass from Magic with 1:11 left.

Chambers made a free throw with 3:03 left to give Seattle a 101-98 lead.

Sikma fouled out with 2:48 left in the game. Worthy made two free throws to cut it to 101-100.

McDaniel just beat the 24-second buzzer with a hook to give Seattle a 103-101 lead with 2:08 left.

Kurt Rambis stole a pass that Sobers was trying to throw to Chambers in the Sonic end, and Johnson made two free throws after being fouled by Gerald Henderson with 1:34 left to tie it at 103-103.

Johnsonn stole the ball from Chambers as the Sonic was trying to go up for a shot with 1:17 left and fed Worthy for the dunk at the other end that gave the Lakers a 105-103 lead with 1:11 left. However, Worthy missed the ensuing free throw, and Scott fouled McCormick as he was going for the rebound.


McCormick hit both free throws to tie it at 105-105 with 1:10 left.

The Lakers had two chances to go ahead, but they missed both shots. And after Danny Vranes stole the ball from Johnson with 29 seconds left, the Sonics called time out.

Chambers made a 17-footer with 15 seconds left to give Seattle a 107-105 lead.

The Lakers immediately called time out to set up a play. Johnson inbounded the ball to Worthy, who passed inside to Abdul-Jabbar. The Laker center was fouled by McCormick as he was going up for a hook with 10 seconds left.

Abdul-Jabbar made the first free throw, but the second bounced off the front of the rim, and Chambers fell down as he was going for the rebound. But the Sonics controlled it, anyway, as McDaniel came up with the loose ball and was fouled by Lucas--only to miss the two free throws that could have wrapped it up for Seattle.

Laker Notes Center Chuck Nevitt, waived by the Lakers last week when they reactivated Byron Scott, signed as a free agent with the Detroit Pistons Friday morning. . . . The Lakers will play host to the Chicago Bulls Sunday. It’s the Bulls’ only regular-season appearance of the season at the Forum. Michael Jordan won’t play because of a cracked bone in his foot.