This would mark the first time that the Lakers would beat the Celtics to win the Championship!
The Lakers had previously attempted to beat the Celtics 8 times before finally winning 111 - 100.
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The 1984 - 1985 Los Angeles Lakers - Michael Cooper, Kurt Rambis & Jamaal Wilkes
The 1972-73 NBA season ended with the New York Knicks beating the Los Angeles Lakers 4 games to 1 in the 1973 NBA Finals. Game 5, played on May 10, 1973, ended the series with the Knicks defeating the Lakers, 102-93.
The Knicks, who won their first league title ever by defeating the Lakers in seven games in 1970, lost the opening game in this 1973 series and then swept the next four, repeating the pattern Los Angeles had used to beat them in the final series the previous year.
Earl Monroe led the Knicks with 23 points, followed by Bill Bradley with 20 and Walt Frazier with 18. For the Lakers, Gail Goodrich led all scorers with 28 points while Wilt Chamberlain had one of his best scoring nights with 23 and led both teams with 21 rebounds. Willis Reed of the New York Knicks was named Most Valuable Player in this championship series. (The photo above shows members of the Knicks championship team, left to right: Jerry Lucas, Walt Frazier, Willis Reed, Phil Jackson and Bill Bradley.)
This would be the last NBA Finals appearance for the Lakers until 1980. This was the first NBA Championship win for the Knicks' players Jerry Lucas and Earl Monroe. The Knicks would not make it back to the NBA Finals until 1994.
Photo below is courtesy of Sports Illustrated. Dean Meminger (left) and Earl Monroe (right) enjoy a game of cards on their charter plane back to New York after beating the Lakers for the championship.
On February 16, 1972, Wilt Chamberlain of the Los Angeles Lakers became the first player in NBA history to reach 30,000 career points. He scored his 30,000th point during the third period against the Phoenix Suns. Although the Suns were victorious, beating the Lakers 110-109, Chamberlain had 19 points and 21 rebounds in this game. Also during the 1971-1972 season, Wilt Chamberlain passed Bill Russel to become the NBA's all-time leading rebounder.
Chamberlain is considered one of the most extraordinary players in the NBA and is the holder of numerous NBA all-time records. Among numerous other accomplishments, he is the only player in NBA history to average more than 40 and 50 points in a season and score 100 points in a single NBA game. He retired as the all-time in career points with 31,419, which was later surpassed by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Michael Jordan. Wilt is tops in rebounds with 23,924 and led the NBA in scoring seven years in a row.
On October 19, 1960, the Lakers played their first game as the Los Angeles Lakers after twelve years in Minneapolis.
Their first game was played in Cincinnati against the Royals, with the home team topping the Lakers 140 - 123. That 1960 - 61 squad had a couple of players who would go on to become all time Laker greats. Elgin Baylor was the leader of the team, averaging 34.8 points that year. On November 15, 1960, Baylor scored 71 points against the Knicks. The other budding superstar was a rookie out of West Virginia named Jerry West.
Overall the 60 - 61 Lakers had a successful debut season in the City of Angels. They made it to the playoffs and defeated the Pistons in the first round 3 games to 2. In the second round they faced the St. Louis Hawks and fell to the Bob Pettit led squad 4 games to 3.
With the Lakers 2010 - 11 NBA season beginning one week from tonight, and with this being a historic date in the club's history, please enjoy these miscellaneous facts about one of the most successful sports franchises of all time.
- The Lakers made 8 finals appearances in the 1960's, losing all 8 times.
- The 1971 - 72 season marked the Lakers first championship in Los Angeles and their sixth overall title.
- The 1971 - 72 squad holds the record for the longest win streak in NBA history at 33 games.
- During the "Showtime" era of the 1980's, the Lakers captured five titles.
- The 90's were lean years for the purple and gold with the squad winning 0 titles.
- The Lakers hold the record for most NBA Finals appearances with 31.
- Elgin Baylor is the only Lakers rookie to win the Rookie of the Year Award, which he won after the 1958 - 59 season.
- # 13 has been worn twice by Lakers while in Los Angeles. Once, by The Big Dipper of course, the other by Dwight Jones who played in 32 games in the 1982 - 83 season.
- The Lakers have retired seven numbers: 13 (Wilt Chamberlain), 22 (Elgin Baylor), 25 (Gail Goodrich), 32 (Magic Johnson), 33 (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar), 42 (James Worthy) and 44 (Jerry West)
So, are the Lakers poised to win their third consecutive NBA Championship? We think they might be. And to help you get ready for the next championship run, check out some of our championship caliber Lakers apparel.