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Encyclopedia > 1969 NBA Finals

The 1969 NBA Finals was one of the most spectacular Finals series ever. It was played between the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics, the Lakers being heavily favoured due to the presence of three formiddable stars: Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, and Jerry West. 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday For other uses, see Number 1969. ... The NBA Finals is the championship series of the National Basketball Association, played under a best-of-seven playoff format. ... The Los Angeles Lakers are a National Basketball Association team based in Los Angeles, California. ... The Boston Celtics are a National Basketball Association team based in Boston, Massachusetts. ... Elgin Gay Baylor (born September 16, 1934 in Washington, DC) was one of the most graceful and acrobatic forwards to ever play the game of basketball playing 13 seasons for the NBAs Minneapolis and Los Angeles Lakers. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Jerry West was also a pseudonym used by Andrew E. Svenson. ...

Series Summary

Bill Russell, Boston's player-coach, decided that a plan would have to be hastily come up with if he wanted to win. Russell, undoubtedly the best player on the creaky Celtics team, would try to control Chamberlain (the two had been rivals long before the other stars got onto the scene) and Baylor would be checked by the agile Bailey Howell. The Celtics lost Games 1 and 2 in Los Angeles after West scored 53 and 41 points, respectively, there being no effective defense of him in Russell's mind. In Game 3, John Havileck, one of Boston's premier players, was poked in the eye and was inspired to a 34-point performance and a tight win. In Game 4, the Celtics continued the momentum and won on a last-second basket by Sam Jones. Games 5 and 6 were both won by the home team, but the Celtics won Game 7 on opposition ground to take the series.

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The final playoff round, a best-of-seven series between the victors of both conferences, is known as the NBA Finals, held annually in June.
In 1950, the NBA consolidated to eleven franchises, a process that continued until 1954, when the league reached its smallest size of eight franchises, all of which are still in the league (the Knicks, Celtics, Warriors, Lakers, Royals/Kings, Pistons, Hawks, and Nationals/76ers).
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