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Celtics Earn Tough Road Victory of Lakers, Lead Series 3-1

Apr. 19, 1963 - The world champion Boston Celtics, although staggering all over the place at the finish, virtually wrapped up their fifth straight NBA championship tonight when they scored a hard-fought 108-105 victory over the Lakers before 15,382 fans at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. The Celtics, ahead from the first few seconds, closed off a fantastic rally in the closing minutes to take home a 3-1 series lead with a chance to end it on their home court Sunday night. The Lakers had cut a 14-point deficit with 5-and-a-half minutes to play to 5 points when misfortune laid them low. Elgin Baylor, a 48-minute performer, collided with Bill Russell as he tossed in a short hook. However, referee Richie Powers called it — to the screaming protests of the home crowd — an offensive foul, and the Lakers were finished. Russell, as always, was brilliant, but it was Tom Heinsohn who stung the Lakers most often. The big forward from Holy Cross was throwing up a variety of difficult shots — the type that drive coaches wild. However, the 6-7 veteran has nights when he doesn't even have to see the rim — and this was one of them. He banged in 35 points to take scoring honors away from Baylor, who tallied 31 points, grabbed 19 rebounds, and produced 4 assists.  Laker coach Fred Schaus, when asked what the difference was between the two teams, quipped, "How do you spell Russell?" Someone mentioned that Russell had been credited with 19 rebounds. "You mean in one quarter?" Schaus asked wryly.


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