Click here to Skip to main content
NBA HISTORY
elgin-baylor-61.jpg
Seemingly everything Elgin Baylor tossed toward the hoop in Game 5 of the 1962 Finals found its way in.
Dick Raphael/NBAE via Getty Images

Baylor's historic night not enough for Lakers in Finals


Posted Mar 2 2013 11:09PM

When he played, he was the most dynamic player in the game. Think of it this way: In the litany of basketball's aerial artists, before there was Kobe Bryant there was Michael Jordan. Before there was Jordan, there was Julius Erving. And before there was Erving, there was Elgin Baylor.

A 6-foot-5 forward with strength and agility, Baylor played 14 seasons for the Lakers in a career that began in 1958-59 when the franchise still was in Minneapolis. He was one of the first players to take the game off the floor, up to the rim and beyond, and was renowned for his ability to change direction in midair.

Baylor was at his best on April 14, 1962, when he scored 61 points and grabbed 22 rebounds in a 126-121 victory over the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the NBA Finals. Though the Celtics came back to win the next two games and the championship, Baylor's scoring feat remains a Finals record.

Baylor's performance was masterful. He stunned the capacity crowd at Boston Garden with an amazing array of moves against one of the best defenders in the league, Tom "Satch" Sanders. If he got past Sanders, Baylor had the legendary Bill Russell to contend with. "All I remember is that we won the game," said Baylor years later. "I never thought about how many points I had."

Said Sanders: "Elgin was just a machine in that game."

SEARCH NEWS
LATEST VIDEOS
photoTop 10 Plays: 2014 NBA Summer League
Check out the top 10 plays from the Orlando and Las Vegas 2014 NBA Summer League.
photoAll-Access: Kyrie Irving at USA Basketball Practice
Go behind-the-scenes with Kyrie Irving as he participates in USA Basketball practice.
photoSekou Smith on the Central Division
Sekou Smith talks about the new competitive balance in the Central Division.
photoRose Answers Questions
Derrick Rose answers questions from reporters following a USA Basketball practice.
photoMichele Roberts Interview
The new NBPA Executive Director, Michele Roberts, joins GameTime to talk about her new role.

Copyright © NBA Media Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of NBA.com may be duplicated, redistributed or manipulated in any form. By accessing any information beyond this page, you agree to abide by the Privacy Policy / Your California Privacy Rights and Terms of Use. | Ad Choices Ad Choices

NBA.com is part of Turner Sports Digital, part of the Turner Sports & Entertainment Digital Network.