1948-49 Season The Lakers won an NBA title this season

Record: 44-16, second place in Western Division

The Minneapolis Lakers jumped from the National Basketball League to the Basketball Assn. of America in time for the 1948-49 season. The reason the BAA wanted the Lakers? George Mikan, who quickly became the league's biggest draw. When the Lakers went to New York to face the Knicks, the marquee at Madison Square Garden read "George Mikan vs. Knicks."

Mikan averaged 28.3 points per game during the season, but the Lakers finished in second place in the BAA's Western Division, one game behind the Rochester Royals.

Playoffs: Minneapolis swept the Chicago Stags in the first round to advance to the division finals, where they swept the Royals. The best-of-seven BAA Finals came next, and the Lakers faced the Washington Capitols, who were coached by Red Auerbach. It looked like an easy sweep when the Lakers won the first three games, but Mikan broke his wrist in Game 4. Mikan played Game 5 with a cast on his hand and scored 22 points in a loss. But the Lakers wrapped it up with a 77-56 Game 6 victory to win their first title.

Playoff Results

Western Division Semifinals

  • at Lakers 84, Chicago 77

  • Lakers 101, at Chicago 85

Western Division Finals

  • Lakers 80, at Rochester 79

  • Lakers 67, Rochester 55 (at St. Paul)


  • at Lakers 88, Washington 84

  • at Lakers 76, Washington 62

  • Lakers 94, at Washington 74

  • at Washington 83, Lakers 71

  • at Washington 74, Lakers 66

  • Lakers 77, Washington 56 (at St. Paul)