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Royals Score Upset in Syracuse, Move On to Play Celtics

Mar. 26, 1963 - The Cincinnati Royals got what they came for tonight in Syracuse — and they had to do it the hard way. They blew a 4-point lead in the final minute of regulation, then had to survive a wild and wooly overtime before emerging with a 131-127 victory over the Nationals that gave them the NBA Eastern Division semifinal playoff series and a berth in the best-of-7 division finals against the Boston Celtics. A crowd of 7,418 in Syracuse War Memorial will be talking about this one for a long time, and the Royals deserved it, surviving a couple of adverse calls in the late moments of regulation that looked fatal to Cincinnati's chances. There were Cincinnati heroes all over the place, but Oscar Robertson (pictured), with 32 points, 19 rebounds, and 13 assists, was the undisputed leader of tonight's victorious effort. This will be the first time the Royals have been in a division final since 1953-54, when the team was based in Rochester. They lost that series to the Lakers, still playing then in Minneapolis. This year's division finals series opens Thursday night at Boston Garden. No matter how far the Royals go, they assured themselves tonight of at least $8,500 in additional playoff money.


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