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Lakers Clinch Top Spot in Western Conference of NBA

Mar. 6, 1963 - The Los Angeles Lakers finally nailed down the top spot in the NBA’s Western Division tonight, but they had to turn back an angry group of Cincinnati Royals to do it. Before an L.A. Sports Arena crowd of 8,803, the Royals were full of fight, and the Lakers had to turn on full steam in the final period to carve out a 106-97 victory to end a five-game losing streak — longest of the season. Playing their 18th game minus injured Jerry West, the Lakers won only their eighth without their backcourt star. As usual, Elgin Baylor (right) and Dick Barnett led the way, but unsung Ron Horn and veteran Jim Krebs and Rod Hundley came off the bench to lend valuable help in the final period. The game was especially rough early, and tempers flared several times in a battle in which half a dozen players hit the deck hard.

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