Jamaal Wilkes scored 32 points and Jim Chones grabbed 17 rebounds tonight to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 107-94 victory over the Kansas City Kings. The win was marred by a knee injury to Los Angeles guard Earvin (Magic) Johnson that was initially diagnosed as a torn cartilage and could sideline the All-Star for two months or more.
The 21-year-old Johnson fell to the court early in the second period. After Johnson was helped from the floor and examined, team physician Dr. Robert Kerlan said he suspected Johnson had suffered torn cartilage in his left knee.
Kerlan said an arthrogram, in which air is injected in the knee joint during X-rays, will be conducted Wednesday.
Johnson said: "I went to cut, to pick up my man, and the knee said, 'I'm not going with you.' It didn't. I heard something pop or crack."
Reserve guards Michael Cooper and Butch Carter picked up the slack for Johnson, with Cooper scoring 14 points and Carter adding eight.
Wilkes, shooting mostly from long range, hit on 15 of 23 field-goal attempts, including his last seven in a row. Chones' 17 rebounds offset a mediocre performance by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who scored 15 points.
Otis Birdsong led Kansas City with 26 points, the 17th game in a row he has scored more than 20 points. Scott Wedman added 17 points for the Kings. h
In other games: Julius Erving scored 30 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 113-99 victory over the New York Knicks before a sellout crowd of 19,587, first capacity throng of the season at Madison Square Garden; Randy Smith had 25 points and Mike Mitchell 23 to lead Cleveland over San Diego, 104-94; Eddie Johnson provided the game-clincher as Atlanta withstood visiting San Antonio, 97-93; Clemon Johnson and James Edwards led a fourth-period rush as Indiana stopped humble Detroit, 102-97; four of Larry Bird's 19 points came in the final three munutes as Boston edged Chicago, 113-112; reserve Sidney Moncrief led a sextet of double-figure scorers for Milwaukee as the Bucks routed Utah, 126-93, in a game that saw the league's leading scorer, Adrian Dantley of the Jazz, evicted midway in the fourth period following his second technical foul; Houston was led by Moses Malone's 33 points in beating Seattle, 138-118; Phoenix got 24 points from Truck Robinson and 23 from Dennis Johnson in a 102-91 defeat of the expansion Dallas team, and Jim Paxson scored 19 of Portland's first 21 points as the Blazers beat Denver, 122-103.