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Lakers Top Knicks as Baylor Shines

Nov. 6, 1963 - The real Elgin Baylor stood up tonight, and it was a good thing because the Lakers couldn’t have won without him. Even with Baylor (pictured left with Len Chappell and Rudy LaRusso) having his best night of the season, the Lakers, after running up a 20-point lead in the third quarter, barely lasted to nose out the battling New York Knicks, 111-109, before 5,613 fans at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. The Knicks, down 17 points and apparently out of it when the final period opened, whittled away mainly on Bill McGill’s amazing hook shots, and before the stunned Laker fans knew what happened, were only 2 behind with 48 seconds to play. The Knicks had the ball too, but a McGill hook missed, and when two traveling violations nullified each other, the Knicks’ valiant bid was cut short. If the game had been two seconds longer, they might have at least sent it to overtime, because Art Heyman stole the ball from Jerry West a fraction before the gun. He had clear sailing, but no time. Laker coach Fred Schaus’ plans called for Baylor to sit this one out, but the All-Pro, who has been having trouble with calcium deposits on both knees, wanted to play. He did, and he and West flashed that sizzling one-two punch that has made the Lakers famous. West outscored Baylor, 35-33, but Elgin was bombing the basket from all over. He fired up 24 shots and hit 16 of them — a welcome change from his 35% shooting average for the first seven games. The Lakers, however, were guilty of many errors and shot poorly as a team. They will have to play much better Friday night because the “new” Wilt Chamberlain and the Warriors will be in Los Angeles, and they eat up those mistakes.

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