1958 NBA Finals
1958 NBA champions banner at Philips Arena
|Dates||March 29–April 12|
|Hall of Famers||Celtics:|
Tom Heinsohn (as a player and coach)
Sam Jones (basketball)
Bill Sharman (as a player and coach)
|Eastern Finals||Celtics defeat Warriors, 4–1|
|Western Finals||Hawks defeat Pistons, 4–1|
The 1958 NBA World Championship Series was the championship series for the 1957–58 National Basketball Association (NBA) season, and the conclusion of the season's playoffs. It pitted the Western Division champion St. Louis Hawks against the Eastern Division champion Boston Celtics. The Hawks won the series in six games to win the club's first and so far only NBA championship title.
|Game||Date||Home Team||Result||Road Team|
|Game 1||March 29||Boston Celtics||102–104 (0–1)||St. Louis Hawks|
|Game 2||March 30||Boston Celtics||136–112 (1–1)||St. Louis Hawks|
|Game 3||April 2||St. Louis Hawks||111–108 (2–1)||Boston Celtics|
|Game 4||April 5||St. Louis Hawks||98–109 (2–2)||Boston Celtics|
|Game 5||April 9||Boston Celtics||100–102 (2–3)||St. Louis Hawks|
|Game 6||April 12||St. Louis Hawks||110–109 (4–2)||Boston Celtics|
Hawks win series 4–2
After suffering a heartbreaking loss to the Celtics in Game 7 of the 1957 NBA Finals, St. Louis survived a sometimes difficult 1957-58 NBA season, returning to the NBA Finals to face the Celtics again. The teams split the first two games and were tied 49-49 in the third game when the series' decisive play occurred. Bill Russell soared high to block a shot by Bob Pettit, landed heavily on his right ankle and collapsed in a heap on the floor with a severe sprain. He missed the next 2 games. Boston won just one more game, the fourth, as the Hawks prevailed with a six-game series victory that gave them their first and (to date) only NBA championship.
The sixth game was vindication for Bob Pettit. Before a cheering, stomping crowd of 10,218 in St. Louis, Pettit scored 19 1st half points as the Hawks took a 57-52 lead into the halftime intermission. Six straight points by Pettit pushed the Hawks' margin to 10 in the third quarter before the Celtics sparked by Bob Cousy's playmaking, cut the margin back to six, 83-77. A Boston spurt in the opening moments of the final period gave the Celts an 86-84 lead.
With a little more than 20 seconds to play, Pettit drove on Russell, stopped and arched a shot over the Celtic captain for the basket that gave the Hawks a 108-105 lead.Tom Heinsohn made two foul shots with 16 seconds left to cut it to 108-107. With the Boston defense converging on Pettit, Slater Martin tried a set shot that missed, but Pettit somehow fought his way through the mob of Celtics around him to tap the ball in and make a final Celtic field goal meaningless. Pettit had scored 50 points, including 18 of the Hawks' final 21 points propelling the Hawks' to the 1958 NBA Championship.
The 1958 Hawks were the last team to win an NBA championship without a black player on the roster.
St. Louis Hawks
- 1957-58 NBA Season Summary, basketball-reference.com. Retrieved March 29, 2014.