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Vintage KSDK: St. Louis Hawks win the NBA championship

Sixty-four years ago this week, Bob Pettit led the St. Louis Hawks to NBA greatness.

ST. LOUIS — This week's Vintage KSDK goes back to April 12, 1958, the night the NBA's St. Louis Hawks won the championship.

They did it right here at home, defeating the Boston Celtics for the title.

The man known as "Big Blue," Bob Pettit, scored 50 points that night, a league record for a player in a championship series game, and one that was tied by Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021.

Here's Bob Pettit on that championship season, in his own words, as part of our 40th anniversary celebration back in 1987.

"The year is 1958 and the Hawks are battling the Celtics for the NBA championship. The Hawks came into Kiel Auditorium for Game 6 with a three games to two lead.

"The Celtics' lineup was one of the strongest in the NBA: Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Tom Heinsohn and Bill Russell.

"But that night, everything seemed to go right for the Hawks and Bob Pettit. I was lucky enough to score 50 points including 19 of the last 21 points the Hawks scored.

Credit: AP
FILE - In this April 10, 1958, file photo, Tommy Heinsohn, (15) of the Boston Celtics drives against Bob Pettit, left, of the St. Louis Hawks in their National Basketball Association playoff game at Boston Garden in Boston. At right is Jack McMahon (21) of the Hawks. Tommy Heinsohn, who as a Boston Celtics player, coach and broadcaster was with the team for all 17 of its NBA championships, has died. He was 86. The team confirmed Heinsohn's death on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020.(AP Photo/J. Walter Green, File)

"With just 16 seconds left I hit a jumper putting us up by three and the crowd and Kiel went crazy.

"The Hawks had won their only NBA championship, a tribute to a great team, coach Alex Hannum, owner Ben Kerner and the fans of St. Louis."

Kerner sold the Hawks in May 1968 to a group that moved them to Atlanta.

READ ALSO: Vintage KSDK: The late, great Bob Gibson on the Cardinals '67 championship season, in his own words