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Celtics Take 2-0 Series Lead over Lakers as Russell and Cousy Shine

Apr. 16, 1963 - The proud world champion Boston Celtics, with Bob Cousy and Bill Russell at their scintillating best, took another giant step toward their fifth straight NBA championship tonight. With big Bill sweeping the boards and Cousy shooting and passing spectacularly, the Celtics, to the immense delight of 13,909 fans at Boston Garden, cut down the Lakers, 113-106, to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-7 series. Russell, who seems to get better than ever in the playoffs, pulled down 38 rebounds, while Cousy, who threw in a couple of fabulous hook shots in the final quarter to turn back a torrid Los Angeles bid, contributed 18 points and 11 assists. For the Lakers, Rudy LaRusso played brilliantly, but the two aces, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West, ran hot and cold. They were cold too often to suit Coach Fred Schaus, who tried every combination with little success until the closing minutes, when the Lakers came storming back from a 12-point deficit to within 4 points. There were just 75 seconds left, however, and when Celtic guard Sam Jones canned a pair of free throws, the champs had another in the bag. "They made the plays when they had to," Schaus said after the game. "Every time we got within four or five points, they'd come up with a big play. They always hustle after that loose ball. But Cousy was the guy who helped kill us. He ran the show. He was out there when they needed a good quarterback, and that's just what he is — a heck of a player.” As for Cousy, a tired veteran winding up 13 years of pro ball, he had only one thing to say after playing 38 big minutes in the victory: “If we blow the series now after winning the first two, it's just our own fault.”


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