23. Elgin Baylor vs. Boston Celtics, Game 5 NBA Finals, April 14, 1962.

The setting: With 1:22 left at the Boston Garden, Baylor hit a 15-footer to put the Lakers ahead, 118-117. The significance: Baylor’s shot put the Lakers ahead to stay and their 126-121 victory gave them a 3-2 lead in the series. Baylor finished the game with 61 points, an NBA playoff record that stood until Michael Jordan scored 63 in a double-overtime game against Boston in 1986. Baylor made 22 shots in 46 attempts, sending the Lakers back to Los Angeles with great confidence. “We’ll win it now. We’ve got ‘em back at home now,” Lakers Coach Fred Schaus said. But the Celtics won Game 6 by 14 points, then broke the Lakers’ hearts in Game 7 with a 110-107 overtime victory in Boston. In the deciding game, the Lakers’ Frank Selvy missed a 12-foot shot in the closing seconds of regulation that would have won the championship.
Associated Press
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