Now with basketball back in action, Laker Nation has decided to continue to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise.
NOVEMBER 30, 1982
LA LAKERS 137 – SAN ANTONIO SPURS 132
LAKERS TOP SPURS IN DOUBLE OVERTIME…OR DO THEY?
The Lakers entered their Tuesday night game against the San Antonio Spurs at 12-3, having won their last five games but still needing to face a daunting Spurs team that was a perennial favorite to win the Midwest Division. While the Lakers expected a close game, they probably did not expect a double-overtime match, let alone a game that would technically last for nearly five months.
Following a 19-point comeback from their previous deficit in the second quarter, the Lakers had narrowed the gap to 114-113 before fouling Spurs guard Johnny Moore at the end of the game to stop the clock. After fouling Moore, the clock sat at three seconds, but not before Lakers coach Pat Riley had gone to complain to the lead official, saying there should have been more time remaining.
During the timeout before Moore’s two free throws, Laker broadcaster Chick Hearn yelled to the lead official, stating that he had watched a review and that six seconds remained on the clock. While sportscasters are typically ignored in the timeout-banter that occurs during games, the lead official walked over to Hearn and spoke with him before checking with the game timekeeper. While the lead official and timekeeper deliberated, Hearn’s insistence helped to change the time on the clock as the lead official switched the clock back to four seconds (neutral reviews would later show that four seconds and not Hearn’s six would be the more accurate call).
After Moore had made both free throws, Spurs coach Stan Albeck instructed his players to foul before any Laker could take a three point shot, sending Laker guard Norm Nixon to the line. Having made his first free throw, and with the Lakers trailing 116-114, Nixon was instructed to intentionally miss the second free throw to have a Laker rebound the ball and take an open shot to tie the game.
Setting up for his second free throw, Nixon motioned the ball upwards, but held on. As Lakers and Spurs crowded the lane, with no shot in the air, the lead official called a double lane violation and motioned for a jump ball at the top of the key. With Kareem Abdul-Jabber tipping the jump ball, a double-teamed Magic Johnson would pass off to Norm Nixon, who would sink an 18-foot jumper as time expired to send the game into overtime. The Lakers would go on to prevail over the Spurs in a double-overtime 137-132 finish.
Unfortunately for the Lakers, the victory would be short-lived. The following day, San Antonio General Manager Bob Bass would file a protest, arguing that Madden should have kept Nixon on the line to shoot his final free throw instead of ordering a jump ball. Bass’ protest would be approved, and in a doubleheader played at the end of the season in April, the Spurs would defeat the Lakers 117-114 following a replay of the final three seconds. While the Lakers would lose both games of their double-header against the Spurs in April, the Purple and Gold would finish with the last laugh, as they would go on to sweep the Spurs in the 1983 Western Conference Finals.
Quote of the Night: “I planned that all along. Actually, I just wanted to get everyone scrambling to get out of the lane so that it would improve our chances to get the rebound. It turned out like that California touchdown, running through the band.” – Laker guard Norm Nixon on his faked free throw attempt to draw a double lane violation at the end of regulation against the San Antonio Spurs. – From the LA Times, Dec. 1, 1982