1963 NBA Finals Game 4: Outdueling Baylor, West and the Los Angeles Lakers
In 1963, the Los Angeles Lakers and Celtics met yet again in the Finals. Unfortunately for us, the outcome was the same as it always was in the 1960s: a gut-wrenching loss.
Although our Lakers saw dazzling scoring performances from the dynamic duo of Jerry West and Elgin Baylor, it was Heinsohn who shined brightest when called upon.
Throughout the 60s, the Celtics were known for stingy defense, balanced scoring, and a quick-striking attack that was ahead of its time. However, Heinsohn became the only Celtic to outscore both Baylor and West in the series in a pivotal Game 4 victory.
On the road and clinging to a slim 2-1 lead in the series, Heinsohn put the Celtics on his back. When the dust settled, Tom launched 30 shot attempts, scored 35 points, and pulled down 14 rebounds as the Celtics escaped with a 108-105 victory.
Heinsohn’s heroics helped the Celtics avoid a tied series and take a commanding 3-1 series lead. But, more impressively, he was able to outscore both Jerry West and Elgin Baylor.
Jerry West finished with a modest 18 points and five assists in the game while Elgin Baylor played the full 48 minutes and scored 31. For the series, West and Baylor averaged 29.5 and 33.8 points per game respectively. However, Game 4 was Heinsohn’s night.
Our Lakers would bounce back with a big win in game five, but the 3-1 series lead would prove insurmountable. Without Heinsohn’s heroics, one wonders if the Celtics would have finally faltered to our Lakers.