As the Lakers and Nuggets go toe-to-toe in this year's Western Conference finals, SI.com looks back to 1985, when the same franchises battled for a chance to take on Boston in the NBA Finals. Here are some of Sports Illustrated's best shots from that series.
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Magic Johnson and T.R. Dunn
The Lakers were led by Magic, who averaged 17.5 points, 7.1 rebounds and 15.2 assists in the playoffs, which ended with L.A. beating the Celtics in the Finals.
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English was the Nuggets' top scorer during the regular season and postseason. His scoring average increased from 27.8 to 30.2 in the playoffs.
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Alex English and Michael Cooper
English, shown here against Lakers stopper Cooper, was forced to miss the last quarter of Game 4 after breaking his thumb early in the second half. The Lakers pulled out a victory with a last-second basket by James Worthy to take a 3-1 series lead.
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Danny Schayes
Schayes was given the unenviable task of guarding Abdul-Jabbar. Tempers flared in Game 2, when the two big men scuffled and Abdul-Jabbar was ejected.
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Alex English and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
English and Co. had no trouble scoring, averaging 120 points a game in the series. But the Lakers trumped that with a 132-point average, including 153 points in the Game 5 clincher.
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Worthy, a second-year forward, was key to the Lakers' title run, averaging 22 points on 62 percent shooting in the playoffs.
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Dan Issel and Fat Lever
Denver wasn't the only team that struggled to find an answer for Abdul-Jabbar. The Lakers' center was awarded Finals MVP honors after leading L.A. past Boston in six games.
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Many fans felt the Lakers' physical play in this series was masterminded by Riley, who wanted to send a message to the Eastern Conference champion Celtics. "The rap on us is that you can distract us by getting physical with us," the L.A. coach said after Game 4. "We play the game the way it's supposed to be played, but we're going to defend ourselves."
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Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Dan Issel
Issel retired after the series as the fourth player to score at least 27,000 points as a pro (including his ABA stats). The others at that time were Abdul-Jabbar, Wilt Chamberlain and Julius Erving.
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