Chris Mullin matched a career-playoff high with 41 points and rookie Mario Elie sank the winning foul shots with 3. 1 seconds left Wednesday night, giving the Golden State Warriors a 125-124 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers that squared their Western Conference semifinal at a game apiece.
Elie, who was cut by the Lakers during preseason and began the year in the Continental Basketball Association, hit his free throws following a foolish foul in the backcourt by rookie Elden Campbell.The Warriors, who won a postseason game at the Forum for the first time in 12 tries since March 28, 1969, withstood a career playoff-high 44 points by Magic Johnson. The loss was the Los Angeles' first in five playoff games this year.
Mullin, who missed Game 1 because of a strained right knee, made 16 of 21 shots from the floor, including nine straight in one stretch in the second half. He made all four of his 3-point attempts and played 47 minutes.
Tim Hardaway added 28 points and 14 assists for Golden State and Mitch Richmond had 22 points before fouling out with 7:01 remaining. The "Run TMC" trio of Hardaway, Richmond and Mullin combined for 91 of the Warriors' 125 points.
The best-of-seven series now shifts to Oakland for games Friday night and Sunday. The Warriors won 2 of 3 home meetings with the Lakers during the season.
The Lakers again exploited their height advantage but were just 38 of 51 from the foul line. Johnson, though, hit 20 of 22 free throws. Golden State was 26 of 36 from the line.
Following Elie's foul shots and three timeouts, Worthy's inbounds pass at halfcourt was tipped away by Higgins. Hardaway controlled the loose ball and gleefully ran out the clock.
Sam Perkins finished with 24 points for Los Angeles and Worthy had 23. Elie finished with only 9.
The Warriors shot 67 percent in the first period to lead 35-32.