On April 18th in 1962, the Boston Celtics edged the Los Angeles Lakers 110-107 in overtime in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
This was the Celtics fourth straight and fifth in franchise history.
In the championship decider, Bill Russell led the Celtics with his monster double-double of 30 points and 40 rebounds (a Finals record). Other key contributors were Sam Jones (27 points, 8 rebounds) and Frank Ramsay (23 points) while the Lakers were led by their guard-forward scoring combo of Jerry West (35 points) and Elgin Baylor (41 points, 22 rebounds, 4 assists).
Although the iconic Lakers-Celtics rivalry, arguably the greatest in NBA history, began when they faced-off in the 1959 Finals, which the Celtics swept 4-0, the 1962 Finals could be considered a "sort-of-first".
This series was the first of six competitive Finals the two iconic franchises faced-off in. In addition, the 1959 year was the franchise's penultimate season based in Minneapolis before they moved to Los Angeles in 1960.
This seven-game series witnessed many all-time moments and records. In the first-ever NBA Finals game in Los Angeles, Game 3 of the 1962 Finals, Jerry West sealed the game when he followed up a clutch steal with a game-winning shot.
In the Lakers' Game 5 victory, Elgin Baylor erupted for a Finals record 61 points.
The Lakers and Celtics would face-off for a total of 12 times in the Finals with the latter holding a 9-3 edge.
Other notable events on April 18th
- In 1966, upon the retirement of Red Auerbach, Bill Russell was named player-coach of the Boston Celtics. In his three years as player-coach, Russell led the team to two championships in 1967 and 1969.
- In 1967, Rick Barry of San Francisco Warriors scored 55 points in a 130-124 Game 3 win against the Philadelphia 76ers in the NBA Finals. The 55 points were the second-highest total scored in NBA Finals history and his 22 made field goals tied Elgin Baylor's Finals record.
- In 1991, as the Utah Jazz defeated the Seattle Supersonics 130-103, guard John Stockton dished out 11 assists and finished the season with a total of 1,164. The tally surpassed the single-season NBA record that he set the previous year.
- In 1994, Dominique Wilkins scores 37 points as a member of the Los Angeles Clippers in a 134-131 loss to the Golden State Warriors. En route to scoring that 37, he became the ninth player ever to surpass the 24,000 points mark.
- In 1996, Orlando Magic's Dennis Scott set the then-NBA record for most 3-pointers made in a single game when he knocked down 11 against the Atlanta Hawks.
- In 2001, A.C. Green played his 1,192 consecutive game, thus, extending his all-time NBA record.
- In 2001, Jalen Rose, of the Indiana Pacers, dishes out a career-high 20 assists against the Cleveland Cavaliers in a 105-101 win.
Game-winning buzzer-beaters on April 18th
Mike Miller vs. San Antonio Spurs in 2005
Tom Hammonds vs. Milwaukee Bucks in 1998
Dudley Bradley vs. Philadelphia 76ers in 1986
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