On This Day (April 18)
Notable events from NBA history that occurred on April 18.
Russell, Baylor Duel
On this day in 1962, the Boston Celtics’ Bill Russell tied his NBA Finals record by grabbing 40 rebounds in a 110-107 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. It’s a record that’s unlikely to fall any time soon, as the last player to record at least 25 rebounds in a Finals game was Wilt Chamberlain on May 7, 1972 (29).
Russell also scored a team-high 30 points, shooting 8-18 from the field and hitting 14 of his 17 free throws. Russell is the only player in Finals history to record a 30-point, 30-rebound game. He did so twice, the first coming on April 11, 1961 versus the St. Louis Hawks in Game 5 of the Finals.
In addition to Russell's 30 points and 40 rebounds, the Laker’s Elgin Baylor tallied 41 points and 22 rebounds. It’s the only time in Finals history two players have each recorded at least 30 points and 20 rebounds in the same game.
Baylor is one of only three players in NBA history to record at least 40 points and 20 rebounds in a Finals game (a total of six instances). Baylor is responsible for half of those instances:
Elgin Baylor (3 times)
Shaquille O’Neal (2 times)
This was the last of 31 straight playoff games in which Baylor scored at least 25 points, by far the longest such streak in NBA history:
31 — Elgin Baylor (March 17, 1960–April 18, 1962)
20 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (April 16, 1974–May 8, 1977)
20 — Abdul-Jabbar (April 13, 1979–May 10, 1980)
It was also the last of 11 straight 30-point games in the postseason for Baylor, again the longest such streak in NBA history:
11 — Elgin Baylor (March 27–April 18, 1962)
9 — Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (March 25–April 19, 1970)
9 — Bob McAdoo (April 12, 1974–April 15, 1976)
Baylor scored 284 points in the 1962 Finals, the most in NBA history by a player in a single postseason series. He and Bob McAdoo (1975 Eastern Conference Semifinals; see below) are the only players in NBA history to score at least 30 points in each game of a seven-game playoff series.
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