Feb. 5, 1964 - For about 10 minutes tonight, it was the old Elgin Baylor — and that was the time it took for the Lakers to end their longest losing streak since moving to Los Angeles. Everyone on hand at the L.A. Sports Arena, 7,208 fans and the Detroit Pistons, knew it too, and the customers gave the 6-5 great a standing ovation when he walked off the floor after the Lakers had wrapped up a 111-85 victory.
Until Baylor started wheeling and dealing, the Lakers were having a rough time with the NBA’s weakest team. In fact, with two minutes remaining in the third period, L.A. had only a three-point lead. Then, Baylor, who had played all the way but not too well all of the time, suddenly came alive. The next 10 minutes were Elgin’s. He took charge of the boards, shot brilliantly, and made several of his famous sensational passes. Before the Pistons knew what hit them, they were out of it entirely, and the Lakers had climbed to second place only one game behind San Francisco and with the hope that ailing ace Jerry West might return Saturday night. West has a special protection for his broken thumb, and as soon as the soreness leaves, he’ll be ready for action. Baylor ended with 37 points and 17 rebounds, with 19 of the points coming in that electrifying 10-minute span.
While Baylor was the big show, special mention should be made of Jim Krebs, who put some zip into the attack both times he entered the contest. It was no coincidence that the Lakers looked their best when the hustling rookie made them speed up. The Lakers will host Detroit again Friday night.