The 1988 Finals was the championship round of the 1987–88 season. One of Los Angeles Lakers head coach Pat Riley's most famous moments came when he promised the crowd a repeat championship during the Lakers' 1986-87 championship parade in downtown Los Angeles. With every team in the league now gunning for them, the Los Angeles Lakers still found a way to win, taking their seventh consecutive Pacific Division title. While the 1988 Lakers did not produce as many wins in the regular season as the 1987 Lakers, they were just as successful in the playoffs, becoming the first team in 20 years to repeat as champions. The Lakers met the physical Detroit Pistons in the 1988 Finals.
One of Piston guard Isiah Thomas' career-defining performances came in Game 6. Despite badly twisting his ankle midway through the period, Thomas scored a still-Finals record 25 third quarter points, as Detroit fell valiantly, 103-102, to the Lakers at the Forum.
Thomas still managed to score 10 first-half points in Game 7, as Detroit built a 5-point lead. In the 3rd quarter, the Lakers, inspired by Finals MVP James Worthy and Byron Scott (14 3rd quarter points), exploded as they built a 10-point lead entering the final period. The lead swelled to 15 before Detroit mounted a furious 4th-quarter rally, trimming the lead to 2-points on several occasions. Still, several Detroit miscues enabled the Lakers to win with a 108-105 victory.
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