Today in Sports History: April 9

On April 9, 1959, the Boston Celtics completed the first-ever NBA Finals sweep against the Minneapolis Lakers in what was the very first time the Celtics and Lakers would ever meet in a championship series. The Celtics’ 1958-59 championship victory would mark their second title in three years, and their first of an eventual eight consecutive titles — a remarkable professional sports record. The 1959 championship series featured four players who were selected to the 1958-59 All-NBA First Team: Elgin Baylor of the Lakers became one of the very few rookies ever to earn an All-NBA First Team selection; Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, and Bill Russell of the Celtics became what still stands as the only trio in history to be named to an All-NBA First Team.

The dynamic trio of Cousy, Sharman, and Russell led the extraordinarily stacked Celtics to a 118-113 Game 4 victory past Baylor and the Lakers. Russell, who is universally considered the most potent defensive catalyst in NBA history, grabbed 30 rebounds. Cousy, the NBA’s seminal ball-handling and playmaking showman dished out 11 assists. Sharman, distinctively the best-conditioned player of his time, who was known for his prototype shooting form, scored 29 points. Tommy Heinsohn added 23 points to the scoreboard for the Celtics and Frank Ramsey, the NBA’s original sixth man, added 24 points off the bench. In the Lakers’ losing effort, Baylor, the groundbreaking and transcendent high-flyer and shot creator finished the game with 30 points and 14 rebounds. Over the next decade, the Celtics and Lakers would meet another six times in the NBA Finals, with Boston coming up victorious in each of those meetings.

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