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 15, 1960
LA LAKERS 123 – NY KNICKS 108
ELGIN BAYLOR SETS NBA MARK AT 71 POINTS
One year and seven days after setting an NBA scoring record for points in a game at 64, Laker forward Elgin Baylor was in Madison Square Garden to play against the New York Knicks in a two game doubleheader. The Lakers and Knicks, being the first game of the doubleheader, would not disappoint, as Baylor would go on to break his own NBA record by scoring 71 points.
Despite the overwhelmingly pro-Knick crowd, Baylor’s 34-point first half would turn Madison Square Garden in his favor, with fans chanting “Give it to Baylor” on every Laker possession…even with the Knicks only down at the half 65-58. Baylor would leave the game with 28 seconds remaining, given a standing ovation by the Knicks faithful after scoring 71 points on 28-for-48 shooting and 15-19 from the line. The performance would give the Lakers a 123-108 win in The Garden, and Baylor’s game would push the rebuilding Lakers to 5-7 on the season.
Baylor’s 71-point record would only stand for a little more than a year, as Wilt Chamberlain would score 78 points against the Lakers in a triple-overtime performance in December 1961. Baylor’s team record would stand for over 45 years before Kobe Bryant’s 81 would eclipse the mark in January 2006.
Quote of the Night: “Elgin did nothing unusual in that game. It was just a typical Baylor performance. He just came down the floor, his teammates would clear out an area, and he’d shoot — a jump shot or a driving layup, followed up by a rebound if he missed. Each particular shot had nothing amazing about it. It was just that Elgin was such an amazing player.” – Former Knicks forward Johnny Green on Baylor’s scoring performance – From Hoop Magazine, 1992