1961-62 Season

Record: 54-26, first place in Western Division

Elgin Baylor played only on the weekends during much of the season after being called to active military duty because of the crisis in Berlin. He still averaged 38.3 points in 48 games and Jerry West came into his own, averaging 30.8 points per game in his second season in the NBA as the Lakers won the Western Division by 11 games.

Playoffs: A switch in the postseason format meant the Lakers automatically qualified for the Western Division finals after winning the division in the regular season. They faced Detroit, which they dispatched in six games to set up an NBA Finals matchup against the Boston Celtics.

After splitting the first two games in Boston, the Lakers won Game 3 at home thanks to a last-second steal and layup by West. The Celtics evened the series with a win in Game 4, but Baylor scored a then-playoff-record 61 points in Game 5 as the Lakers won at Boston to take a 3-2 series lead. After losing at home in Game 6, the Lakers returned to Boston for the decisive seventh game.

Game 7 went into overtime after Lakers guard Frank Selvy's shot bounced off the rim as time expired in regulation. Boston outscored the Lakers in overtime to win 110-107 and clinch the NBA title, the first in a series of disappointments for the Lakers against the Celtics after their move to L.A.

Playoff Results

Western Division Finals

  • at Lakers 132, Detroit 108

  • at Lakers 127, Detroit 112

  • Lakers 111, at Detroit 106

  • at Detroit 118, Lakers 117

  • Detroit 132, at Lakers 125

  • Lakers 123, at Detroit 117

NBA Finals

  • at Boston 122, Lakers 108

  • Lakers 129, at Boston 122

  • at Lakers 117, Boston 115

  • Boston 115, at Lakers 103

  • Lakers 126, at Boston 121

  • Boston 119, at Lakers 105

  • at Boston 110, Lakers 107 (OT)