The Los Angeles Lakers, staying unbeaten on the road in the playoffs, rallied from a 14-point deficit Saturday to win the opener of the Western Conference finals 111-106 over Portland behind Magic Johnson's 21 assists and James Worthy's 28 points.
The Lakers, 4-0 on the road in the postseason, outscored the Trail Blazers 10-2 over the final 31/2 minutes to take away Portland's homecourt advantage in the best-of-7 series.Byron Scott added 19 points and Sam Perkins had 18 points and 15 rebounds for the Lakers, who outscored Portland 31-14 in the fourth quarter to improve their record to 8-1 in the playoffs.
Clyde Drexler had 28 points and 12 assists and Jerome Kersey scored 21 points for the Blazers, who had the NBA's best regular-season record of 63-19, including 36-5 at home.
Portland, a loser at home for the first time in seven playoff contests, had a 104-101 lead after Drexler sank two free throws with 3:23 to play.
But Los Angeles scored the next six points, three each by Worthy and Johnson, to pull ahead 107-104. Worthy's two free throws, after a foul call against Drexler that was vehemently disputed by the Blazers, gave the Lakers the three-point lead with 1:23 to go.
On two Portland possessions during that stretch, Kevin Duckworth was called for an offensive foul and fumbled the ball on a drive to the basket. But his 12-footer with 1:12 to play cut the Lakers' lead to 107-106.
Scott sank an 18-footer with 49 seconds to go to boost the advantage to 109-106, then Portland's Buck Williams missed two free throws with 33.2 seconds to go and Sam Perkins stuffed the ball as the 24-second clock expired with 8.6 seconds remaining to clinch the victory.
The Blazers led by as many as 14 late in the third quarter and were up by 12 at the end of the period. But the Lakers went on a 15-0 run, including the first 13 points of the final quarter, to take a 93-92 lead on Scott's 3-pointer with 8:10 to play.
Vlade Divac scored eight for the Lakers in the final quarter, when Los Angeles outscored Portland 31-14. The Blazers had only four field goals in the final period.
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Johnson, who scored 15 points but was only 2-for-8 from the field, tied his own NBA playoff record for assists in the first quarter with 10. His total of 21 was three short of the league playoff record he shares with John Stockton.
The Lakers led by as many as 10 points in the first quarter.
Kersey, Danny Ainge and Cliff Robinson led the Blazers back in the second period. A 14-2 Portland run gave the Blazers a 37-35 lead with 9:43 left in the half.
Ainge, pressed into extra duty because Terry Porter was in foul trouble, had two 3-pointers in the second quarter, one to start the period and another with 27.2 seconds left.