On this day: Boston Celtics beat St. Louis Hawks for 1961 championship

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Justin Quinn
·4 min read
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

On this day in Boston Celtics history, the Celtics won the NBA championship in 1961. The win was the final game of a five-game series between the then- St. Louis Hawks and Boston, which the Celtics won 4 – 1.

The series-clinching win was a 121 – 112 victory that saw legendary Boston big man Bill Russell score 30 points and 38 rebounds to secure the win, with 18 points and 12 assists from point guard luminary Bob Cousy. Wing Sam Jones added 16 points and 10 boards, forward Tommy Heinsohn chipped in 19 points and 7 rebounds, and shooting guard Frank Ramsey scored 16 points for good measure.

It would be the last time the two teams faced off in the NBA Finals, and the last time the opposing franchise — now based out of Atlanta, Georgia — made a Finals appearance.

Indiana’s Calbert Cheaney, center, pulls a rebound from the hands of Xavier’s Larry Sykes, right, as Damon Bailey prepares to pick up the loose ball during the NCAA Midwest Regional round two in the Indianapolis Hoosier Dome March 21, 1993. Indiana advanced to the round of 16 with a 73-70 win. (AP Photo/Tom Strattman)

It is also former Celtics power forward Larry Sykes' birthday, who was born today in 1973 in Toledo, Ohio. He played his college ball with Xavier University, and would have the briefest Celtics tenure possible -- just one game, in which he recorded two rebounds; he was waived by the franchise shortly after.

Boston Celtics' Paul Pierce (34) looks to move against Milwaukee Bucks' Desmond Mason, right, in the first quarter of an NBA basketball game, Friday, April 11, 2008, in Boston. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

It is the anniversary of four wins since the season of Boston's last championship in 2007-08. The first was a 102 - 86 blowout of the Milwaukee Bucks in 2008, led by point guard Rajon Rondo's 16-point, 10-assist night. The Celtics sat their starters in the final frame, rest being preferable given the scoring imbalance. "I think we've done a good job -- we'll know later -- of resting them throughout the season," said head coach Doc Rivers via the Associated Press. "I told them, 'Legs over minds.' The veterans are smart enough, but we've still got to save their legs."

Apr 11, 2012; Boston, MA USA; Boston Celtics power forward Brandon Bass (30) drives the ball to the basket against Atlanta Hawks forward Ivan Johnson (44) in the first quarter at the TD Banknorth Garden. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Boston also squeaked past the Hawks 88 - 86 on this date in 2012, with a 22-point, 12-rebound performance from Kevin Garnett, and 21 points and 10 boards from forward Brandon Bass. Paul Pierce added 14 points and 5 boards, and Rondo logged 10 points, as many rebounds and 20 assists.

Apr 11, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson (25) reacts after the buzzer ends the game against the Boston Celtics at TD Garden. The Celtics defeated the Bobcats 106-103. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

In 2014 on this date, the Celtics defeated the then-Charlotte Bobcats 106 - 103, their first victory in 10 games. Reserve guard Phil Pressey scored a career-high 13 assists, and Avery Bradley scored 22 points in the win. "Phil Pressey gave us a great lift on the defensive end," said Avery Bradley via the A.P. "I feel like that's why we won the game."

Apr 11, 2018; Boston, MA, USA; Brooklyn Nets guard Caris LeVert (22) dribbles the ball as Boston Celtics forward Semi Ojeleye (37) defends in the second half at TD Garden. The Celtics defeated the Nets 110-97. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Finally, a 26-point, 14-rebound outing by big man Aron Baynes saw the Celtics defeat the Brooklyn Nets 110 - 97 in 2018, with several starters taking the night off for rest ahead of the postseason. Fan favorite big man Guerschon Yabusele had 16 points and 5 boards, and guard Jonathan Gibson had 18 points off the bench. This post originally appeared on Celtics Wire. Follow us on Facebook! [lawrence-related id=48898,48876,48871,48852,48842] [listicle id=48882]

1

1