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Knicks Win Brawl, Lakers Win Game

Jan. 8, 1964 - The basketball wasn’t too good, so the Lakers and Knicks provided some extra entertainment for the benefit of 6,345 fans tonight at L.A. Sports Arena. A king-sized brawl, in which a number of solid punches were thrown, resulted in four players being ejected as the Lakers romped off to their fifth straight victory, 136-118. The Knicks were angry from the start, lost their coach, Eddie Donovan, on technicals, and things finally erupted into a real fight with 3:36 left to play. Jim Krebs and Billy McGill, who had to be separated a few minutes earlier, squared off to begin the fracas. Little Frank Selvy grabbed McGill about the waist in an effort to stop the angry Knick center, and then both benches poured out onto the floor. The best puncher among those engaging in hand-to-hand conflict appeared to be Tom Hoover, the Knicks’ 230-pound rookie center. He threw haymakers at several Lakers, finally settled on Don Nelson, and dealt out the only real damage of the melee. Nelson, floored by a hard right flush on the mouth, needed several stitches to sew up a cut lip. There were no other casualties. Krebs, Nelson, McGill, and Hoover were tossed by officials Richie Powers and Willie Smith.

The Knicks saw Jerry West and Elgin Baylor combine for their best efforts together this season. West scored 39, Elgin 36, and the two were practically perfect in a third period that wiped out New York hopes. McGill, who tallied 23 for the Knicks, was having a big night against Leroy Ellis and Gene Wiley, but slowed considerably when Krebs started guarding him and doing some pushing in the post to make it possible. This is what set the stage for the fight. Afterward, McGill said: “Krebs was just too much in the final minutes. He was pushing and shoving me around, so I squared off.” John Rudometkin of the Knicks chimed in: “There wouldn’t have been any fight if Nelson hadn’t hit McGill when the other guys were breaking it up. Selvy had hold of Billy, and that’s why Hoover came out swinging.” Laker coach Fred Schaus said they used to have three fights a week when he was playing, but he had never seen one in which so many guys were engaged. Rudy LaRusso, asked about his part in the brawl, said: “I was the peacemaker. I’m not about to get in a fight with the Knicks. Now, if it had been the Celtics, well, that’s different — but never the Knicks.”


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