Feb. 22, 1963 - The largest crowd ever to see a basketball game in the Los Angeles Sports Arena turned out tonight, and the Lakers left the 15,196 fans screaming for more. The Lakers, coming off two consecutive heart-breaking defeats at the hands of San Francisco and playing once again without Jerry West, cooled off the sizzling Boston Celtics, 113-105, in one of the most exciting games of the NBA season. The Lakers took over the lead early in the second half, lost it in the final period, and then came with a rush to clinch the season’s series with the defending world champions. Laker coach Fred Schaus’s backcourt is supposed to be weak without his ace, West, but this victory belonged to the Lakers’ little men — Dick Barnett (left), Frank Selvy, and Rod Hundley. Barnett, arguably the finest jump shooter in the NBA, led all scorers with 36, banging in 3 beauties in a row at the start of the second half. Elgin Baylor “only” managed 30 points, but that was because magnificent Bill Russell batted away 10 of his shots in a typically brilliant defensive performance.
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