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🚨Celtics Win Fifth Straight Championship in Cousy’s Final Game

Apr. 24, 1963 - Bob Cousy made a smashing farewell, and the Boston Celtics kept their dynasty alive tonight as they turned back a tremendous Laker bid to score their fifth straight NBA championship. Before a record L.A. Sports Arena crowd of 15,521 plus 6,000 more watching on closed circuit television at 3 local theaters, the Celtics scored a 112-109 victory to wrap up the series in 6 games. While Cousy sparkled early then came back with an ailing ankle to help the fading champions stave off a bitter rush, it was Tom Heinsohn who bedeviled the home team with a key play that helped wreck Laker hopes. The Lakers, down as much as 16 points and still behind 12 when the final quarter began, put on one of the most spirited drives any team ever made and, with 2:44 to play, were behind just 104-102 and had the ball. But Heinsohn stole the ball from Rudy LaRusso, a splendid performer otherwise, and drove in for the layup. "It was a planned play," said Heinsohn after the game. "West always looks for LaRusso for the outlet pass when we press, and I played Rudy's blind side and stole the ball. I was just lucky I didn't foul him." Bill Russell, held to only 12 points tonight, still managed to control the boards, pulling down 24 rebounds besides blocking several shots in another tremendous performance. Retiring Celtic star Bob Cousy, who was helped off the floor with a sprained ankle in the final quarter only to return before the gun, said his leg will probably "puff up like a balloon tomorrow." Rookie John Havlicek, the former Ohio State All-American, said the thrill of winning the NBA championship topped all other thrills. How about the NCAA championship in 1960, he was asked. "The NCAA has to take second place now," said John with a grin. Bill Russell called the victory “the most gratifying of all my championships for one reason: Bob Cousy — Mr. Basketball.” “The biggest tribute we could pay to a great man like him was to let him go out a winner,” said Bill. “He has to be the greatest of all time as a player and a man. If he was prettier, I’d kiss him.”

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