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Hawks Top Lakers in Rugged Contest, L.A. Still Leads Series 2-1

Apr. 4, 1963 - Members of St. Louis’s “Gashouse Gang” baseball team of the 1930s were a bunch of sissies compared to the basketball team St. Louis sent out after the Lakers tonight. Before 7,396 roaring fans at Kiel Auditorium and a Los Angeles television audience, the Hawks rebounded with a vengeance with a smashing 125-112 victory in a battle that more often resembled football than basketball. They went in front early and never looked back as they cut the Lakers' playoff edge to 2-1. The rough action caused tempers to flare often, and the Lakers had the edge only in losing their tempers. They picked up two technicals (Fred Schaus and trainer Frank O’Neill) to just one for Coach Harry Gallatin of the Hawks. “This was a great team effort,” said Gallatin after the game, happy to have something to talk about besides the last-second defeat Tuesday in Los Angeles. “One big factor was our frontliners’ ability to spot our guards when they were in the clear and pass to them if the big men themselves didn’t have a chance to score. Too often in the past, we'd just keep trying to force the ball in close no matter how tight the defense.” Bob Pettit was the high man for St. Louis with 33 points, and Zelmo Beaty (pictured #14) had a game-high 15 rebounds. Elgin Baylor equaled his regular-season average by scoring 34 for the Lakers, but Len Wilkens covered Jerry West well enough to restrict the Laker star to just 18. In the dressing room after the game, most of the Lakers, still boiling mad over the roughhouse tactics, were full of cuts and bruises. Jerry West and Frank Selvy were the most battered players.

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