In lieu of the regular season, Laker Nation has decided to take you back through Laker history to recap important games, record-breaking performances and memorable news from the past 64 years of the franchise. We understand that it’s not the basketball you may have been hoping for, but for the time being, it’s the closest we’ll get to reading about the Lakers on a basketball court.
NOVEMBER 14, 1971
BOSTON CELTICS 115 – LA LAKERS 128
WILT’S TRIPLE-DOUBLE POWERS LAKERS PAST CELTICS
When the Lakers and Celtics met at the Great Western Forum 40 years ago today, the longtime rivals were going in opposite directions. The Celtics, playing the Lakers in their third road game in three nights, had lost their last two in Phoenix and Seattle to fall to 104. The Lakers, however, were trending up, having won their last seven games entering their home contest against the Celtics at 13-3.
In a larger-than-life performance, center Wilt Chamberlain would record 31 rebounds, 13 blocked shots and 10 assists for a non-scoring triple-double in the 128-115 win over the Celtics, with former Celtic and arch-rival Bill Russell watching the game from the sidelines in his first visit to the Forum as a fan. Chamberlain would only score three points in the game, coming from a free throw and a late dunk in the fourth quarter.
While the Celtics would take 25 more shots than the Lakers, the inside presence of Chamberlain would force the Celtics to shoot 36% from the field, with Celtics star John Havilcek laboring for 18 points on 26 shots. Guard Gail Goodrich, back with the Lakers from his time in Phoenix, would score a game-high 36 points in only 33 minutes. The Lakers would use a fast-paced run-and-gun style outpace the Celtics, with Jerry West, Happy Hairston and Flynn Robinson combining for 65 points in their eighth straight victory.
Quote of the Night: “I counted them. There were 14.” – Wilt Chamberlain, on his incorrectly recorded 13 blocks against the Boston Celtics. – From the LA Times, Nov. 15, 1971.