);
Los Angeles Lakers

This Date in NBA History: Minneapolis Lakers clinch first three-peat in NBA history in 1954

The 1954 NBA Champions - the Minneapolis Lakers
(NBA Getty Images)

On April 12th in 1954, the Minneapolis Lakers defeated the Syracuse Nationals 87-80 in Game 7 of the 1954 NBA Finals. By winning their fifth title in franchise history, they became the first team to win three straight titles.

In the previous two NBA Finals - 1952 and 1953, the Minneapolis franchise defeated the New York Knicks. In 1952, it was a seven-game battle, whereas in 1953, it was a five-game series.

The Lakers were in large part led by their 7-foot center George Mikan. This legendary Lakers squad was also led by head coach John Kundla.

Other notable events on April 12th

  • In 1958, Bob Petit scores 50 points in a championship-clinching 110-109 Game 6 win against the Boston Celtics.
  • In 1994, Denver's Mahmoud Abdul-Rauf stretch his consecutive free-throw streak to 53 in the Nuggets' 107-102 loss to the Phoenix Suns. Having registered consecutive free-throw streaks of 81 and 57 earlier in the same season, he became only the second player in NBA history (along with Bill Sharman) to have three free-throw streaks of 50 or more.
  • In 1996, Reggie Miller goes 6-of-11 from long distance in the Indiana Pacers 111-101 road win at Orlando. He became the second player in NBA history to reach 1,200 career 3-pointers.
  • In 2001, the NBA Board of Governors approved four rules changes recommended by a select committee on playing rules. The rules changes provided for included the elimination of illegal defense guidelines, the institution of a defensive three seconds call, a reduction of the time to advance the ball into the frontcourt from 10 to eight seconds and a relaxation of the rules against hand-checking. All changes were scheduled to go into effect for the 2001-02 season.
  • In 2007, Kobe Bryant scores 50 points in a 118-110 loss to the LA Clippers.
  • In 2009, Dwyane Wade scores 55 points in a 122-105 win against the New York Knicks.
  • In 2015, Russell Westbrook scores a then-career-high 54 points and dished out eight assists in a tough 116-104 road loss at Indiana.

Game-winning buzzer-beaters on April 12th

Paul Mokeski vs. Boston Celtics in 1985

Jo Jo White vs. Buffalo Braves in 1974

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