It wasn't Maurice Lucas' missed dunk, Magic's blown layup or Byron Scott's brick in the closing seconds that did in the Lakers.
To trace their demise, one must go back to the home-opening (ring night) defeat by Cleveland. Their losing to the likes of Golden State, the Knicks and the Clippers, coupled with Boston's series sweep were portents of what to expect this year.
The Lakers approached the regular season as if it were a rehearsal for the playoffs. They allowed themselves mistakes, assuming all would be corrected on "Opening Night." They proved, once again, that the team with the greater desire would prevail and that they were, after all, only human.
What else can anyone say except, "Give 'em hell next year!"