The rivalry between the Boston Celtics and LA Lakers dates way back to the ’60s. And on April 18, 1962, the rivalry between two famous franchises had another epic episode. The Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers 110-107 in overtime of Game 7 of the NBA Finals. That was the Celtics’ fourth straight and fifth title at the time.
Some consider 1959 to be the start of the famous rivalry between the two iconic teams (in which the Celtics swept the Lakers 4-0), but that was the year in which the Lakers played their home games in Minneapolis. They’ve moved to Los Angeles the year after.
So, the 1962 Finals hosted a seven-game series with numerous all-time performances and records.
The city of Los Angeles hosted its first-ever NBA Finals game, and it was Game 3 of the Finals. That fact was a big motivation for the legendary Laker Jerry West, who won the game when he stole the ball and made a game-winning shot for the home team. Another outstanding performance came from Elgin Baylor. In Game 5 of the Finals, Baylor torched the Celtics with 61 points.
As the series was tied at 3-3, it all went down to Game 7. In the crucial game, Laker Frank Selvy missed a last-second shot that would have won the game for the Lakers, but it bounced off the rim, sending the game into overtime that Boston would use to secure the hard-earned title.
Bill Russell led the Celtics with his monstrous double-double of 30 points and 40 rebounds (a Finals record).
In addition to that, Sam Jones had 27 points, and eight rebounds, and Frank Ramsay had 23 points for the Celtics.
The Lakers were led by their star duo of Jerry West, who had 35 points, and Elgin Baylor, who recorded 41 points, 22 rebounds, and four assists. Also, the Lakers lost the Finals despite Baylor’s 11th straight 30-plus point-scoring game, an NBA playoff record. Baylor’s performances showed how hard it was to beat Bill Russell and the Celtics at the time.