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TICKETS FOR MAGIC SHOW GOING AS HIGH AS $2,500

Want to see Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan up close in the NBA Finals tonight at the Forum?

Well, unless you have a salary somewhere in the universe of Jack Nicholson's, forget it.Ticket brokers are charging $2,000-$2,500 for courtside seats, the ones favored by Hollywood's glitterati. Those seats have a face value of a mere $475.

Other, less fashionable seats at the Forum, which seats 17,505, are going for $125-$1,250, up from the usual price $27.50-$106.

If you're willing to sit behind the basket, a ticket can be had for a paltry $125. Upper loge seats between the baskets are bringing $600, while lower loge seats can run as high as $1,250.

In Chicago, ticket brokers charged $300-$1,000 for seats at Chicago Stadium, where the Lakers and Bulls split the first two games of the best-of-7 series.

"There is a recession, but you can't tell," said Kenny Solky, general manager of Murray's Tickets. "With no recession, it's probably bigger than it is now. It's huge now, but with no recession it would be unbelievable huge if more people had $200-$400 to spend on a ballgame."

Huge demand is driving the ticket inflation, Los Angeles ticket brokers say.

"You've got Magic vs. Jordan, two big-market cities, we had a week to sell the first game with the momentum building from the first two games on the road on TV and the Lakers won the first game," said Harris Rosner, owner of VIP Tickets. "All those factors have created the market."

And while scalpers no doubt will conduct business, it will have to be away from the Forum, the parking lot of which is patrolled by uniformed and plainclothes police officers and private security guards.