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

The views on this page do not necessarily represent the views of the NBA or its clubs.

More from NBA.com

Damian Lillard defends Anthony Davis
Active players on fringes of NBA 75 team
Kyle Irving and Scott Rafferty
Embiid Simmons
What's next for Simmons and the Sixers?
Kane Pitman
Portland Trail Blazers superstar Damian Lillard
Have Blazers done enough to break through?
Scott Rafferty
Michael Jordan
On this date: Jordan signs with Wizards in 2001
Yash Matange
Damian Lillard
Blazers depth chart for 2021-22 season
NBA.com Staff
LaMarcus Aldridge
NBA superstars who returned from retirement
Juan Estevez
More News