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This day in sports: Lakers win first NBA championship in L.A.

After losing seven times in the NBA Finals, including four series that went to a seventh game, Jerry West and the Lakers found redemption against the New York Knicks in 1972, winning the title in five games.
After losing seven times in the NBA Finals, including four series that went to a seventh game, Jerry West and the Lakers found redemption against the New York Knicks in 1972, winning the title in five games.

(Los Angeles Times)

The Lakers ended 12 years of frustration on this date in 1972 when they won their first championship in Los Angeles with a 114-100 victory over the New York Knicks in Game 5 of the NBA Finals.

Wilt Chamberlain, who played with a sprained right wrist that was expected to sideline him, scored 24 points and grabbed 29 rebounds to lead coach Bill Sharman’s team. Gail Goodrich added 25 points and Jerry West contributed 23 points and nine assists.

“This is the greatest team I’ve ever played on,” West said afterward. “This will be one summer that I will enjoy.”

In a game postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Angels would have finished a three-game series at Boston on Thursday against the Red Sox.

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The coronavirus pandemic has scuttled the sports calendar, but here’s a look at what was supposed to happen -- and has happened -- on this date.

Here is a look at memorable games and outstanding sports performances on May 7:

1955 — Swaps, with Bill Shoemaker in the irons, wins the Kentucky Derby by 1 1/2 lengths over Nashua in 2:01 4/5. Owned by Rex Ellsworth and bred at his farm in Ontario, Swaps is only the second California-bred horse to win the Derby, following Morvich in 1922.

1977 — Heavily favored Seattle Slew, ridden by Jean Cruguet, wins the Kentucky Derby over Run Dusty Run. Purchased by Karen and Mickey Taylor for $17,500 in 1975, Seattle Slew loses ground after swerving at the start, but Cruquet recovers and rides on to win by almost two lengths. Seattle Slew goes on to take the Triple Crown with victories in the Preakness and Belmont Stakes.

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1982 — A federal jury rules that the NFL violated antitrust laws when it unsuccessfully attempted to prevent the Oakland Raiders from moving to Los Angeles. The Raiders start to play their home games at the Coliseum in the fall of this year. Al Davis moves the team back to Oakland after the 1994 season.

1993 — Wayne Gretzky of the Kings scores his 100th and 101st playoff goals in a 7-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks in Game 3 of the Smythe Division finals at the Forum. Both goals are unassisted and the second one finds an empty net.

1995 — Reggie Miller scores eight points in the last 16 seconds to lead the Indiana Pacers to a 107-105 win over the New York Knicks in the semifinals of the Eastern Conference. With Indiana trailing 105-99, Miller hits two three-point jumpers and two free throws while the Knicks go scoreless.

1997 — The Montreal Expos set two National League records by scoring 18 runs in consecutive innings. The Expos’ 13 runs in the sixth inning, an NL record, follows a five-run fifth as they beat the Giants 19-3. before 9,958 fans at 3Com Park in San Francisco. An up-and-coming prospect named Vladimir Guerrero gets his first career double.

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2005 — Giacomo, a 50-1 shot, defies the odds and wins the Kentucky Derby in a stunning upset, running down a game Afleet Alex in the final strides and generating a huge payoff. Closing Argument, a 70-1 shot, finishes second with Afleet Alex third in the largest Derby field since 20 started in 1984. Giacomo’s winning ticket pays $102.70, the second highest in Derby history.

Height and size mattered to the Lakers on this date in 1973 when they selected seven players in the NBA draft, five of whom are in the giant class.

2010 — Before a record hockey crowd of 77,803, the United States loses to Germany 2-1 in the opening game of the world championships. Felix Schutz scores the winning goal 21 seconds into overtime at Veltins Arena, ordinarily the home of the Bundesliga Schalke soccer team. The U.S. finishes the tournament 13th in the 16-team field.

2011 — Justin Verlander pitches his second no-hitter, leading the Detroit Tigers to a 9-0 win over the Blue Jays in Toronto. Verlander barely misses a perfect game when the only runner he allows comes on a one-out walk on a full count to J.P. Arencibia. in the eighth inning. Jhonny Peralta and Alex Avila hit home runs for the Tigers.

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2014 — Russell Westbrook has a triple-double, Kevin Durant falls one assist short and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Clippers 112-101 to tie their Western Conference semifinal series 1-1. Westbrook scores 31 points, and has 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Durant scores 32 points, has 12 rebounds and nine assists before leaving the game with 1:21 left. It is the first time in NBA history — regular or postseason — that two teammates have at least 30 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

SOURCES: The Times, Associated Press


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