Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 25 points last night, 10 in a third-period surge, lifting the visiting Los Angeles Lakers to a 114-94 victory that eliminated the San Antonio Spurs from the NBA playoffs.
In the second round, the Lakers face the winner of the Dallas-Utah playoff series. The Mavericks lead that series, 2-1, after the Jazz avoided a sweep with a 100-98 victory last night.
The Lakers, who swept their best-of-five series, 3-0, never trailed the Spurs in Game 3.
The Spurs, who lost 21 of their last 26 regular season games, lost the three playoff games by a total of 95 points.
"You talk about working hard, coming to play and about reaching for the next level," said Lakers Coach Pat Riley. "That's what we did."
San Antonio rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second quarter to trail by 46-38 at halftime. But Los Angeles, led by 39-year-old Abdul-Jabbar, dominated the third quarter.
The Lakers allowed the Spurs only five field goals in the period and outscored them, 28-15, for an 84-63 advantage going into the final quarter.
They expanded the lead to 26 in the final quarter, and the Spurs could draw no closer than 18.
"I thought we would win tonight," San Antonio Coach Cotton Fitzsimmons said. "But they wouldn't let us. They are too good. Against a lesser team, as hard as we played, we would have won. But the Lakers are too good a team."
Spurs point guard Wes Matthews led all scorers with 30 points, scoring 16 in the fourth quarter. Teammates Mike Mitchell and Artis Gilmore added 17 apiece.
Maurice Lucas scored 17 for the Lakers, who outrebounded San Antonio by 64-45 and led in field goal percentage, 55.4 percent to 41.6 percent. Johnson had 14 points, 17 assists and 10 rebounds for a triple double.
Los Angeles scored nine straight points in the opening minutes of the game for a 13-4 lead and steadily expanded the margin through the midway point of the second period.
The Spurs' only run was an 11-2 streak that got them back into the game in the latter stages of the first half.
But the Lakers' running game and accurate outside shooting in the third period decided the outcome.
Los Angeles hit 61 percent of its shots in the third period and outrebounded the Spurs in the quarter, 12-6.
*Jazz 100, Mavericks 98: Rookie Karl Malone scored on a jumper with 50 seconds left and grabbed a defensive rebound a few seconds later in Salt Lake City as Utah stayed alive in its best-of-five series with Dallas.
The Mavericks lead the series, 2-1. The Jazz are host to the Mavericks again Friday night.
Malone, who finished with 16 points, tied it at 96 after he stole the ball and scored with 2:30 left.
Rickey Green, who scored a playoff career-high 32 points for Utah, scored on a 20-footer a minute later to put the Jazz ahead, 98-96. Rolando Blackman made two free throws for the Mavericks with 1:10 left to tie.
Malone hit the game-winner 20 seconds later. On Dallas' final possession, Blackman's shot rolled over the rim and Malone grabbed the rebound from James Donaldson.
Thurl Bailey and Bobby Hansen joined Malone with 16 points each for Utah, while Donaldson led the Mavericks with 17 points and 20 rebounds. Blackman finished with 16, including five during the final 3:35 as Dallas overcame a 94-89 deficit to tie at 94.
Behind Green's 17 points, Utah led by 14 points in the first half before the Mavericks rallied.