Guard Byron Scott said the Los Angeles Lakers didn't play a perfect game, but he conceded there were some flawless aspects to it.
"In ways, it was perfect," Scott said after he scored 20 points, 12 as the Lakers took command in the first half, in a 125-101 NBA playoff series-opening victory over the Portland Trail Blazers today at the Forum.
"We got off to a fast start, were playing good defense and running and never really let them get into the game," he said.
The second game of the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals will be played Tuesday night at the Forum, where the Lakers have won 20 consecutive games.
The Lakers' Magic Johnson, who ended today's game with 12 points and 12 assists, was temporarily stunned when he caught an elbow to the head in the second quarter. He returned in the third period.
"I was not quite as knocked out as Thomas Hearns," Johnson said, grinning, "but I was dizzy there for a while."
"Coach (Jack Ramsay) told us this was going to be our toughest game because we were physically and emotionally drained," said Portland rookie center Sam Bowie, held to seven points and seven rebounds.
"Plus, the Lakers were just sitting back waiting for us and reviewing our films."
The Lakers, who swept their best-of-five playoff series opener against the Phoenix Suns with three lopsided victories, hadn't played since Tuesday and appeared well rested. The Trail Blazers had one day off, locking up their series against Dallas in four games with a victory Thursday night.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, James Worthy and Mike McGee each scored 16 points today in Los Angeles' well-balanced scoring. Rookie reserve guard Steve Colter led Portland with 26 points and forward Kiki Vandeweghe had 18.
The Lakers played a superlative first half to take control. Worthy scored 14 points, Scott and Abdul-Jabbar 12 each and Kurt Rambis 10 as Los Angeles held a 73-45 halftime lead.