In the early days of Los Angeles Lakers franchise history, the team was led by two superstars in Elgin Baylor and Jerry West. The Hall of Famers were ahead of their time, and made the Lakers one of the top teams in the NBA for years.
On Nov. 26, 1962, the two showed their dominance in leading the Lakers to a blowout win over the Chicago Zephyrs, a franchise that would eventually become who we know as the Washington Wizards.
West nearly notched a triple-double on the night, finishing with 33 points, 11 assists, and seven rebounds. Meanwhile, Baylor finished with 22 points and 23 rebounds, a ridiculous stat line that was par for the course for him.
The Lakers used a huge second quarter to pull away from the Zephyrs, outscoring them 41-19 in the period. The win improved the Lakers’ record to 14-7 while dropping Chicago to 5-15.
L.A. also got fine performances from LeRoy Ellis (18 points, 10 rebounds) and Rudy LaRusso (16 points, 10 rebounds) in the victory. The Zephyrs were led by Hall of Famer Walt Bellamy who had 26 points and 13 rebounds, while Don Nelson (yes, the former Dallas Mavericks head coach) had 17 and 14 rebounds. They just weren’t a match for West and Baylor, one of the NBA’s great duos.
West is one of the NBA’s great point guards of all-time, equally adept at knocking down shots from anywhere on the floor, and setting his teammates up. Baylor is one of the more forgotten superstars in the history of the NBA, likely due to never winning a championship.
However, his athleticism was unheard of at the time, and he put up stats that are crazy for anyone, let alone a 6’5 wing. Baylor and West would go on to lead these Lakers to the NBA Finals, but they would fall short to the Boston Celtics in six games.
Both would, however, be named to the All-NBA First Team.
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