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Lakers Whip Hawks, Take Over First Place in Western Division

Nov. 21, 1963 - Jerry West’s amazingly accurate jump shooting gave Los Angeles a 21-point first-half lead tonight at the L.A. Sports Arena, and the Lakers held on to whip the Hawks, 111-99. (Pictured below, Rudy LaRusso of the Lakers battles for a rebound against Bumper Tormohlen.) In doing so, the Lakers took over first place in the NBA’s Western Division. West, the pencil-thin guard from West Virginia, scored a total of 35 points after hitting 22 in the first half to give Los Angeles a 59-38 lead at intermission. Following West in the Laker scoring was his fellow guard, Dick Barnett, with 20 points. Elgin Baylor, the league’s second highest scorer last season, turned passer tonight and finished with only 8 points — one of the lowest totals of his pro career. Elgin, who has been having knee trouble, had both legs heavily taped. Cliff Hagan, coming off the bench as usual late in the first quarter, led the St. Louis scoring with 26 points. Bob Pettit picked up 20 after getting only 6 in the first half. “I don’t understand it,” said St. Louis coach Harry Gallatin afterward. “In the games we’ve lost, we’ve gotten off to these very bad starts. We’ve been strictly a second-half club, but you can’t always spot a team a lead and come from behind and win. I’ve tried different things, but nothing has helped. I don’t know what else I can do.” Laker coach Fred Schaus understands Gallatin’s dilemma. Plagued by poor Laker starts, Schaus moved subs Barnett and Leroy Ellis in the starting lineup at guard and center. Zelmo Beaty, the sore-ankled St. Louis pivot, played 19 minutes tonight, but was far off his usual form. “I felt pretty sore,” he said. “I couldn’t run and I couldn’t jump.” The Hawks return home to take on Wayne Embry, Oscar Robertson, Jerry Lucas, and the rest of the Cincinnati Royals tomorrow night at Kiel Auditorium.


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