INGLEWOOD, CALIF. -- It was Magic Johnson's team and Magic Johnson's season, Magic Johnson's playoffs and Magic Johnson's championship game Sunday. It even was Magic Johnson's party, for he could be seen spraying out champagne assists as soon as the Lakers hit the dressing room.

"A long way from October," Johnson said, measuring the time from when Coach Pat Riley officially gave him the Lakers basketball and told him to do whatever was necessary to win the title.

These Lakers are exceptional, one of the best teams in NBA history, winners 80 times in exactly 100 regular season and playoff games.

The 40-year-old player being quietly phased out of the spotlight, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, scored 32 points and blocked four shots Sunday.

"This team has everything you can have," said Johnson, passing out praise after winning his third playoff most valuable player award. "It's fast and it can shoot; it can rebound and get it done inside.

"I've never played on a team with everything before. There always was something we had to go around."

The shame of this championship series is that the Lakers did not have to work especially hard to win. The defending champion Celtics came into the playoffs crippled, and did themselves proud just to get by Milwaukee and Detroit to make the finals.

Lack of depth was evident at the game's pivotal points Sunday. There were only so many surges in the Celtics -- and the Lakers pulled away after about the fourth one.

How much difference could a fairly healthy Bill Walton have meant, season-long and in the final series? Same with the injured and absent Scott Wedman. And Len Bias, who died two days after the Celtics drafted him almost exactly a year ago.

The Lakers didn't have to play terribly well to win Sunday. And they didn't. Lethargic early on, they helped take their own crowd out of the game, to the point where, at times in the second quarter, the Forum was silent as a prayer meeting.

"We were too ready, it seemed like," Johnson said. "We settled down, and finally settled into our style {in the third quarter}. We ran, finally; we finally got our fast breaks."

Another Johnson, the Celtics' Dennis, offered another perspective on Magic Sunday.

"Seemed early on, he was sacrificing his game to get {James} Worthy and {Byron} Scott into their games," Dennis said of Magic's slumping teammates. "He left his game out the first seven minutes.

"Then, in the third quarter, when it was necessary to take over, he got going himself. There's no question he's the most valuable player of the league."

In that third quarter, when Los Angeles went from five points down to 13 ahead, Magic had more points than anyone on the floor (12), had more rebounds than anyone on the floor (four) and had more assists than anyone on the floor (four).

That was appropriate, because he had more points, assists, rebounds and steals than any other Laker going into the game.

"A great player," said Larry Bird, Magic's off-the-court buddy and on-the-court inspiration. "The best I've ever seen. Unbelievable."

Almost immediately after halftime, Magic slipped into a mode surprising only because he hadn't used it much in this series. With a four-inch height advantage, he finally took Danny Ainge to the little-man's woodshed and gave him a whipping.

Everybody else got out of the way, and Magic played bouncy-bouncy before spinning around Ainge and flipping in a left-handed layup. There was more, and more, and more.

Magic from Worthy; Worthy from Magic; one Magic set; then another, and another. He even took a scary fall, holding his left knee and then limping badly after Dennis Johnson's drive with 7:37 left in the quarter.

It was nothing troublesome, although Magic did miss what he calls his "junior, junior, junior sky hook" the next series down court. Soon, he was feeding Mychal Thompson, scoring on two set shots and a pair of foul shots.

"I had to relax myself," Magic said. "I didn't sleep last night. I wanted to win so badly I was hurrying myself {missing seven of his first eight shots}.

"We came together at the half. We told ourselves we were right there, not getting blown out. Halftime was good. We could sit down, think about what we had to do."

Part of what they had to do was play defense and rebound. Bird and Ainge helped by going six for 16 and one for nine respectively. Robert Parish played just 27 minutes before fouling out.

"Defense to the rebound to the break," Magic said. "They were getting one shot, and that one shot was not the shot they wanted. Also, we'd been running too tight with each other on the break. We had to spread out."

As expected, the Celtics were spread too thin. Magic was the only Laker who played more than 37 minutes; Parish was the only Celtics starter who played fewer than 40.

For anyone to get 19 assists, as Magic did, others must be shooting splendidly. And Abdul-Jabbar was coltish, on spins and those majestic sky hooks.

Abdul-Jabbar will return for at least one more season, no longer the first option but always a reliable one.