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Star players Wilt Chamberlain, Elgin Baylor, and Jerry West were all in their 30s, and had all missed significant time due to injuries in the prior two seasons. The Lakers went 6-3 through the first month of the season. Bertka provided us with a copy of a Sharman practice schedule (attached below), then took us through it. Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Elgin Baylor, Pat Riley and other Lakers Legends were on hand for the event. Watch our How-To Videos to Become a Stathead, Subscribe to Stathead and get access to more data than you can imagine. All rights reserved. Do you have a blog? Knicks forward Dave DeBusschere hurt his side and didn't play after the first half. New York took the series in five games to wrest the title away from the defending champions. Wilt Chamberlain scored 24 points and 29 rebounds and earned the NBA Finals MVP Award. Our reasoning for presenting offensive logos. Los Angeles won three straight to open the new year before the Bucks finally ended the string on January 9, besting the Lakers, 120-104. Along the way, the Lakers shattered the NBA mark of 20 consecutive victories set by the Milwaukee Bucks just one season before. The Lakers breezed right through the playoffs, sweeping the Chicago Bulls in the conference semifinals, ousting the Bucks in six games in the conference finals, and then zipping by the Knicks in the Finals, four games to one. Among the greatest teams in NBA history, the Lakers had stormed through the regular season with a then-record 69 wins to only 13 losses, including a ridiculous 33-game winning streak, an American professional sports record. At that point the Lakers had rung up a 33-game winning streak, an American professional sports record. Los Angeles took the first game by three points, but the Knicks employed a pressing, trapping defense that forced the Lakers into an average of 19 turnovers and held them under 100 points in each of the final four games. He also became the first player in NBA history to record a field-goal percentage above .700 -he finished at .727. Full Site Menu. In 1971, after losing Jerry West to a season-ending injury in February, they lost in the Western Conference finals to the powerful Milwaukee Bucks. At season's end, Bill Sharman was named NBA Coach of the Year. He introduced strict conditioning drills and implemented a running fast break based offense. We have tools and resources that can help you use sports data. Chamberlain was named Most Valuable Player of the Finals. He was replaced at small forward by Jim McMillian who played at a near all star level. In 1971, after losing Jerry West to a season-ending injury in February, they lost in the Western Conference finals to the powerful Milwaukee Bucks. In 1970, with the aging Celtics out of title contention, the Lakers lost in the NBA finals to the New York Knicks.  The Lakers and Bucks then staged a season long race for the league's best record, with the Lakers setting a then NBA record with 69 wins (the Bucks had the second best record at 63–19). He re-tooled Wilt Chamberlain's game to focus on defense, rebounding, and jump starting the fast break with quick outlet passes to guards Jerry West and Gail Goodrich. Question, Comment, Feedback, or Correction? Or write about sports? The Lakers lost the championship to them six times in eight years. During the regular season, they would also go on a current-standing NBA record 33-game winning streak. The team took advantage of a nearly perfect first half to jump to a good lead and won easily, 114–92. The team went on to win 81 regular season and playoff games overall, a record that would last for 14 years until Boston Celtics did it in 1986. Chamberlain averaged a career-low 14.8 points, but it may nevertheless have been his finest season-he led the league in rebounding with 19.2 per game, was a defensive stalwart, and played outstanding team basketball. Shortly thereafter, the Lakers strung together a record 33-game win streak. Since the Lakers came to Los Angeles in 1960, two people that never set foot on the actual basketball court stand out as constantly impactful contributors. The team paced the league in points, rebounds, and assists. Since moving to Los Angeles, the Lakers were repeatedly foiled by the Boston Celtics in their attempts to capture an NBA title. The team rolled on to a 69-win year, setting a new NBA record for victories in a season, a record that would stand until the 1995-96 Chicago Bulls went 72-10. December saw them take 16 games without a loss. Bill Bradley hit 11 of 12 shots from the field as New York shot 53 percent for the game. It looked like another Los Angeles fold in the Finals. Copyright © 2000-2020 Sports Reference LLC. Early in the second half, the Forum crowd began filing out dejectedly. The Lakers may have lost Baylor, but they did have a balanced, mature, and experienced team with Hairston and second-year player Jim McMillian as forwards, Chamberlain in the pivot, and West and Goodrich at the guard spots. The team had to make do without Baylor, who retired early in the season after realizing that his legs were not going to hold up through another year. After years of frustration the Lakers had finally earned an NBA Championship, the team's first in Los Angeles and the first for the franchise since 1954. Lakers 1972 NBA Championship information including 2000 Playoffs fixture, roster, pictures, stats and players performance. This was their first championship since moving to Los Angeles in 1960. Find out more. 1971-72 Lakers NBA Champions 33 Game Win Streak Longest Winning Streak in NBA History The Lakers danced out to a 22-point lead and regained the home-court advantage with a 107–96 win. In 1996, the 1971-72 Lakers were named as one of the Top 10 Teams in NBA History. Owner Jack Kent Cooke replaced Head Coach Joe Mullaney in 1971-72, bringing in former USC star and Celtics standout Bill Sharman. During the 1971–72 season the Los Angeles Lakers won their first National Basketball Association (NBA) title since moving to Los Angeles. DeBusschere explained, "I didn't feel I was helping the team." He was hurting and elected not to play in the second half. Wilt Chamberlain, playing in his final season, led the league in rebounding for the 11th time in his career. We present them here for purely educational purposes. Subscribe to our Free Newsletter, This Month in Sports ReferenceFind out when we add a feature or make a change. The defending champion Milwaukee Bucks, led by superstar Kareem Abdul-Jabbar appeared to be starting a new NBA dynasty. League Champion: Los Angeles Lakers. Logos were compiled by the amazing SportsLogos.net. That set up an NBA Finals rematch between the Lakers and the New York Knicks. Finals MVP: Wilt Chamberlain (19.4 / 23.2 / 2.6), Every Sports Reference Social Media Account, Site Last Updated: Tuesday, October 20, 4:30AM. Known for their 33-game win streak and a … The Lakers didn't match their record pace of the previous season during the 1972-73 campaign (although they won all 12 of their games in November), but they did roll to another Pacific Division title by winning 60 games overall.
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