The 1971-72 Los Angeles Lakers were one of the more special teams in NBA history, reaching multiple milestones and accomplishments en route to a championship trophy. Led by the likes of Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain, and Elgin Baylor, the roster proved to be too much for the rest of the league.
It was during this season that the Lakers put together their historic standing and NBA record of 33-consecutive victories. While the 33 games is a record in itself, the Lakers were also able to cap off the month of December with an outstanding accomplishment.
On Dec. 30, 1971, the Lakers faced off against the Seattle Supersonics at the KeyArena. With a record of 15-0 in the month, the team just needed one more victory to close out 1971 with the best monthly record in NBA history.
The Lakers were at a disadvantage entering the game, as NBA legend Elgin Baylor was not suited up. At the conclusion of the first quarter, the Lakers had just a one-point lead on the road.
However, the second quarter would provide some reassurance, as they entered halftime with an 11-point lead. With 29 consecutive wins already under their belt, L.A. had a lot on the line towards reaching 30 and their perfect month.
However, Spencer Haywood, Zaid Abdul-Aziz (Formerly known as Donald Smith), and Lenny Wilkens were a formidable opponent on that night, providing a third-quarter rally.
The Supersonics outscored Los Angeles by seven points in the third quarter, trimming their deficit to just four points. But from there it would be all Lakers, as they stamped their name into the record books with a 122-106 victory.
West finished with 28 points, while Chamberlain’s 17 and Jim McMillian’s 34 points provided huge sparks towards their 30th consecutive win.
With a perfect month, a 30-game winning streak, and the rest of the NBA scared, the Lakers would dominate the NBA on path to West’s lone NBA championship.
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