In Game 2 of the post-Magic Johnson era, the Lakers focused on the business of basketball once more.
They couldn't do it Friday night at Phoenix, losing by 28 points barely 24 hours after learning Johnson was retiring because he has the virus that causes AIDS.But back home in the Forum on Sunday night, the Lakers had Johnson's words for inspiration.
After James Worthy read a note from Johnson reminding both players and fans that "starting now, it's winnin' time," the Lakers went out and beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 96-86.
"Tonight was an indication, in a sense, that we can get our concentration back," Lakers forward A.C. Green said. "We know where our heart is, as far as concern for Earvin and making sure he's OK health-wise. But we still have a job to do. We're still athletes, we're still competitive and we went out tonight and played a very solid game."
Sedale Threatt was especially solid for the Lakers, showing signs of settling into the point guard position vacated by Johnson. He scored 27 points and had 14 assists, both highs since joining the team this season.
"It's time for everyone to come together," Threatt said. "(Magic) told me to come out and get everybody the ball."
Trail Blazers 116, Celtics 90
Clyde Drexler scored 26 points and sparked a third-quarter surge in Portland's most lopsided victory over Boston in nearly 14 years. Not since the Blazers beat the Celtics by 31 points in December 1977 had Portland won by so many.
Pistons 85, Bullets 79
Joe Dumars scored 24 points and led a fourth-quarter rally that lifted Detroit over Washington.
The Pistons trailed by nine points going into the final period, but Dumars scored 12 points, including the go-ahead basket with 2:45 left. The Bullets scored just 13 points in the fourth quarter and only one point in the last 3:43.
Isiah Thomas had 21 points for Detroit, which won its fourth straight game after a season-opening loss. Michael Adams scored 23 points for the visiting Bullets, who lost their fourth in a row.