Lakers Rout Knicks Easily, 107-96; West Sets Play-off Scoring Record
Los Angeles' Jerry West became the first player in National Basketball Association play-off history to score 4000 career points as the Lakers held off a fourth-quarter New York comeback and defeated the Knicks 107-96 Wednesday night, gaining a 2-1 advantage in their championship series.
Game No. 4 in the best-of-seven set will be played Friday night at Madison Square Garden.
West, named to play in the NBA's All-Star game in each of his 12 seasons in the league, and the Most Valuable Player in this year's mid-season classic, scored 21 points against the Knicks. His last two points, on a jump shot from the right side with just over three minutes remaining, gave him 4,001 points in 133 play-off games.
Towering Wilt Chamberlain, the 7-foot-1 1/2, 275-pound center, led the Lakers with 26 points, one more than Gail Goodrich.
Walt Frazier topped the Knicks with 25 points, while Jerry Lucas added 23.
Knicks' forward Dave DeBusschere who started despite a pulled muscle in his right side above the hip, suffered in Sunday's second game, played 20 minutes in the first half but generally was ineffective. He missed all six of his field goal attempts but grabbed nine rebounds, high for New York.
However, DeBusschere did not play in the second half, when the Lakers broke open the game with a 20-5 spurt in the first six minutes.
The burst pulled the Lakers to a 72-52 lead and the Knicks never came closer than seven points--late in the fourth quarter.
The Knicks took a lead in the first quarter, which they maintained until West made a jumper with 3:03 remaining in the second period to give the Lakers the lead for the first time, 43-42.