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Wilt saves the ball

Wilt saves the ball

April 18, 1972 — Wilt Chamberlain appears to cover half the court as he stretches to save the ball from going out of bounds during Game 5 of the NBA Western Conference playoffs with the Milwaukee Bucks.

After losing the fourth game of the playoff series 114-88, the Lakers out-rebounded and out-hustled the Bucks to win the pivotal fifth game, 115-90. Every Laker contributed, but especially Chamberlain. L.A. Times staff writer Mal Florence reported:

Wilt Chamberlain, who pulled down 26 rebounds and, believe it or not, was 8 for 8 from the free throw line. Wilt was always riding Kareem Abdul-Jabbar hard and the Milwaukee center missed frequently (13-for-33), finishing with 28 points – far below his average against the Lakers.

The Lakers won the series in six games, then beat the New York Knicks in five games for the 1972 NBA Championship.

This photo by retired Los Angeles Times staff photographer Art Rogers was published in the April 19, 1972, sports section and was recently used in the All Things Lakers database.

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