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Lakers Cut Celtics’ Series Lead to 2-1

Apr. 17, 1963 - The Lakers stormed back into the NBA finals tonight at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. With their great one-two punch of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor banging in baskets from all over the place and the other Lakers hustling throughout, the club gave the Boston Celtics a 119-99 beating before an all-time Arena basketball record gathering of 15,493. Between them, the two Laker stars had 80 points — 42 for West, the high man — 28 of them in the final quarter, when the Lakers simply brushed aside the tired world champs with a blistering fast break that had the partisan crowd roaring. “He's never been better,” said Laker coach Fred Schaus of Jerry West, his former West Virginia pupil who moved into the pro ranks along with his coach. Jim Krebs, in a slump for quite awhile, played his best, blocking shots and even driving in for a layup against mighty Bill Russell. Big Bill was brilliant in the first half, but he tired in the second, and Baylor, Gene Wiley, and other Lakers took the boards away from him — no mean feat. Baylor wound up with 23 rebounds as the Lakers, after being beaten on the boards for 2 games, came out with a big edge in the rebound department, 65-42. “We just ran out of gas when they were getting hot,” Boston coach Red Auerbach said in the Celtic dressing room after the game. “We hit a late cold spell, and their one-two punch of West and Baylor finished it.”


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