Dec. 27, 1963 - The Boston Celtics led through all but the opening five minutes last night as they coasted to their third straight victory this season over the Los Angeles Lakers, 126-110, before 11,745 at Boston Garden. Tom Sanders scored 21 points to lead the Celtics to their 24th triumph against 4 losses. The Lakers suffered their 12th defeat as Jerry West was held to 22 points and Elgin Baylor to 19. The defending champion Celtics had eight players in double figures as Coach Red Auerbach played his bench throughout the final quarter and lighted his “victory cigar” five minutes before the final buzzer. Bill Russell, back after a two-game respite with a pulled thigh muscle, was rested through most of the second half. But he picked up 20 rebounds during his limited service. Rudy LaRusso’s backboard play and 7 points had Los Angeles in front through the first 5 minutes, but Boston quickly took over and gained the lead. The Celtics widened the gap to 62-44 at halftime as John Havlicek registered 13 points and Sam Jones and Sanders 12 each. The Celtics fought off a comeback led by Baylor that narrowed the gap to 12 points midway through the third period. K.C. Jones, who played a fabulous all-around game, then netted four straight baskets to put Boston way ahead, and the home team coasted from there. The Celtics now head for the road for six straight games, starting tonight in Cincinnati.
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