Magically, Lakers Go Over .500 : Pro basketball: Johnson scores 21 points, hitting all of his shots, to lead 115-89 rout of Orlando.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

The Laker Get-Well Tour ended just as they planned it, with a textbook rout of the Orlando Magic that was led by the Los Angeles Magic, Earvin Johnson, who scored 21 points and didn't miss a shot.

Johnson went eight for eight and the Lakers made it four of four, romping, 115-89, Saturday night before 16,254 in the Forum. Thus Mike Dunleavy poked his nose above .500 for the first time as an NBA coach.

The Lakers are 6-5, in fourth place in the Pacific Division, a game ahead of the Clippers . . . if 4 1/2 behind the Portland Trail Blazers.

"I don't worry about that at all," Dunleavy said. "What I'd like to do is get this team to peak at playoff time. (Laughing) Certainly, the way I started, I have a good chance of doing that."

After a 1-4 start, the Lakers have won four in a row, including two over the Denver Nuggets and Saturday's spirited workout.

Heartier fare awaits: San Antonio; at Phoenix; Detroit. So if you think Dunleavy was hoping to get things turned around, you're right.

"I was hoping," Dunleavy said. "But I had also looked at our first stretch of games and envisioned some wins in there. We had some close games and I thought we'd win some, but the only one we got was against Sacramento.

"I think we're doing a lot of good things now. I think if we'd played this way our first five games, we would have won some.

"We're not there by any means, but we're playing much better."

Saturday night, the Lakers played better as the game went on. Orlando, a hard-working little team on the boards, took 13 of the first 20 rebounds. After that, the Lakers, the league's best rebounding team, stepped on the Magic. The Lakers took 30 of the last 48.

They led by 10 at the half, at which point Johnson was four for four. He tried four more shots in the third quarter and made all those, too, including a 10-foot left-handed hook. He didn't play in the fourth quarter and settled for his 21 points and 14 assists in 28 minutes.

By then, the Lakers were ahead by 18 points and laughing.

"We just about held our heads above water in the first quarter," Magic Coach Matt Guokas said. "Then they just overwhelmed us. They played very good individual and team defense, forced us out, made us take tough shots, beat us down the court. Beat us every way, shape and form."

The Lakers have won games by successive margins of 22, 17, 20 and 26 points. They out-rebounded their opponents by 11, nine, 21 and 12. Saturday night they shot above 50% for the third time this season, but the second in a row.

Laker Notes

James Worthy made five of his first six shots, had 10 points before the game was six minutes old and melted Orlando's Jerry (Ice) Reynolds into a little pool of water. Worthy finished with 22 points. . . . A.C. Green had a Laker season-high 17 rebounds, plus 15 points in 28 minutes in a substitute role. . . . Sam Perkins went into the crowd in the second quarter after a loose ball and collided with a fan, who need stitches. "I hit my knee on a man's face," Perkins said. "I tried to avoid him, but he moved his face right into my leg." . . . Appropriately, Magic rookie Dennis Scott wears uniform No. 3. In two games before this one, Scott was seven of 11 on three-pointers, two for 12 on twos. Saturday he put up 20 shots in 23 minutes and scored a team-high 21 points. . . . Little-noticed statistic of the young season: Orlando scored 23 points at Golden State in the last 1:46 of a loss. In this year of waiting for the first team to score 200, it might be noted that at that rate, Orlando would have done it in 13 minutes. . . . Mike Dunleavy complained about one of his players coming off the bench whose effort, he said, was sub-par. He wouldn't say who it was. . . . Lakers next: San Antonio here Wednesday.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World
67°