This Day In Lakers History: Archie Clark Scores 31 Points In Win Over San Diego Rockets
AP Photo

With a 21-17 record, the Los Angeles Lakers looked to build on their two-game winning streak with a favorable matchup against the 11-29 San Diego Rockets on New Year’s Eve in 1967.

The Lakers jumped out to an excellent start, and at the end of the first quarter, found themselves with a commanding 11-point lead. The ensuing quarter was no different, as Los Angeles outscored the opposition by 17 points and carried a 28-point lead into halftime.

Despite a brief setback in the third quarter, in which the Rockets trimmed the Lakers’ lead to 21 points, L.A. regained its rhythm and put the finishing touch on what would be their 22nd victory of the season.

Lakers guard Archie Clark set the tone with a game-high 31 points. He added three rebounds, five assists and made 13 of his 17 field goal attempts during the contest.

The Lakers received double-digit scoring contributions from eight different players, including a trio of All-Stars that exceeded 20 points. Joining Clark’s 31 points was Jerry West, who added 27 of his own.

Lakers forward Elgin Baylor also added 22 points and 12 rebounds — good for a double-double. Mel Counts and Darrall Imhoff additionally notched double-doubles, as the pair of big men combined for 23 points and 29 rebounds off the bench.

Leading the way for San Diego was John Block, who led the starting five unit with a 29-point showing. Other players to reach double-digits for the Rockets include John Barnhill and Don Kojis (16 apiece), Dave Gambee (13) and Toby Kimball (12).

Despite the solid effort from San Diego, the Lakers returned to the win column and managed to close out the 1967 calendar year on a strong note, defeating the struggling Rockets by 29 points and picking up much needed ground in the standings.

Lakers lost to Celtics in 1968 NBA Finals

Unfortunately, the season did not end how Clark and the Lakers had hoped with them ultimately losing to the Boston Celtics four games to two in the 1968 NBA Finals.

Clark was solid for the Lakers in that series though, averaging 16.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 3.7 assists.

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