This Day In Lakers History: Jerry West, Elgin Baylor Clinch Berth In NBA Finals
Manny Rubio-USA TODAY Sports

The early days of the Los Angeles Lakers were led by one of the best duos in NBA history, Elgin Baylor and Jerry West. Both are two of the greatest players to ever step foot in the league and their games complimented each other very well.

Baylor is considered the first player to really play above the rim, and he was liable to put up video-game numbers on any given night. As for West, he’s the logo of the league, which speaks for itself.

The two were always on a quest to get over that hump and win an NBA championship, but there were plenty of impressive nights along the way, including on April 3, 1962. West and Baylor sent the Lakers to the NBA Finals, each dropping 38 points in a 123-117 win over the Detroit Pistons.

As a result, L.A. took the series 4-2. Baylor also added 22 rebounds on the night as the Lakers advanced to their first Finals since moving to Los Angeles.

Both were outstanding throughout the series. Baylor averaged 36.3 points and 17.5 rebounds while West also averaged 31.8 points and the Pistons simply couldn’t keep up with the two stars. Detroit had a balanced attack as eight players averaged double-figure scoring in the series, but when the two best players in the series wear purple and gold, nothing else matters.

West and Baylor also got help from Frank Selvy and Rudy LaRusso who gave the Lakers a couple of secondary scoring options while doing some of the dirty work as well.

Unfortunately we know the ending to this story. The Lakers would come up just short in the NBA Finals, losing in seven games to the Boston Celtics, but that should do nothing to take away from the greatness of the players in this era of the purple and gold.

WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE DISCUSSION? CHECK OUT THE NEW LAKERSNATION FORUM CLUB

You May Also Like

This Day In Lakers History: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Sets Odd NBA Record In Blowout Of Nuggets

The Los Angeles Lakers have had many transcending athletes don their jersey throughout their illustrious history…

This Day In Lakers History: L.A. Eliminates Nuggets Behind 44-Point Win, Sends Message To Celtics For 1985 NBA Finals

After losing Game 7 of the 1984 NBA Finals to the Boston Celtics, the Los Angeles Lakers returned for the 1984-85…

This Day In Lakers History: Shaquille O’Neal Scores 34 Points Against Timberwolves To Keep Winning Streak Alive

Again playing without Kobe Bryant because of an ankle injury, the Los Angeles Lakers picked up a 104-99 road victory…

This Day In Lakers History: Kobe Bryant Passes Wilt Chamberlain As Youngest Player To Score 25,000 Points

Legendary Los Angeles Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant becoming the youngest player to score 25,000 points…