Set against the backdrop of the legendary Celtics vs Lakers NBA Finals during the height of the AIDS epidemic in Los Angles, MAGIC '85 explores the nature of the AIDS virus through the relationship between Gabriel, a 33-year-old closeted hospice worker, and Trevor a 34-year-old father dying of AIDS.
Gabriel's passion is his greenhouse where he cares for his plants with the same tenderness that he gives his patients at the hospice. Gabriel cultivates the plants to make a psychotropic tincture to help his patients come to terms with their death and the life they leave behind.
Trevor, a hemophiliac dying of AIDS as the result of the tainted blood product used to manage his hemophilia, checks into the hospice. Trevor is bitter and resentful of Gabriel, claiming that gay men like him are the reason that he is dying and leaving behind his twelve year old hemophiliac son Andrey to possibly suffer the same fate. But as the Lakers get closer to their historic win over the Celtics, the three are able to tentatively bond over their shared love of Magic Johnson. Through the use of the plant medicines, Gabriel and Trevor are able to come face-to-face with the virus that looms so large over all their lives but the outcome isn't quite what Andrey was hoping for.