1958 NBA Finals
1958 NBA champions banner at State Farm Arena
St. Louis Hawks Alex Hannum 4
Boston Celtics Red Auerbach 2
DatesMarch 29–April 12
Hall of FamersCeltics:
Bill Russell (as a player and coach)
Andy Phillip
Arnie Risen
Tom Heinsohn (as a player and coach)
Bob Cousy
Frank Ramsey
Sam Jones
Bill Sharman (as a player and coach)
Slater Martin
Ed Macauley
Cliff Hagan
Bob Pettit
Alex Hannum
Red Auerbach
Eastern FinalsCeltics defeated Warriors, 4–1
Western FinalsHawks defeated Pistons, 4–1
← 1957 NBA Finals 1959 →

The 1958 NBA World Championship Series was the championship series for the 1957–58 National Basketball Association (NBA) season, and the culmination 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 franchise's first and only NBA title. This was the last Finals until 1967 that was not won by the Celtics, and the last until 1971 that was won by the Western Division or Conference.


After being defeated by the Celtics in Game 7 of the 1957 NBA Finals, St. Louis survived a sometimes difficult 1957-58 NBA season en route to winning the Western Division crown with a 41-31 record. The Celtics, meanwhile, had dominated the Eastern Division with a 49-23 record.[1]

The Hawks upset the Celtics (with a healthy Russell) in Game 1 at the Boston Garden, 104-102.[2] Boston struck back with a wipeout in Game 2, 136-112.[3] In St. Louis, the Hawks prevailed 111-108 in Game 3 when Russell severely sprained his ankle.[4][1] Without Russell, the Celtics evened the series with a 109-98 surprise victory in Game 4.[5] St. Louis forced a 102-100 win in Game 5 in Boston to take the series lead.[6][1]

Back home in Kiel Auditorium on April 12, the Hawks weren't about to miss their opportunity to defeat the defending champions. Pettit turned in a spectacular performance. He scored 31 points in the first three quarters, then zoomed off in the final period, nailing 19 of his team's last 21 points. His last two points, on a tip-in with 15 seconds remaining, put the Hawks ahead 110-107. The Celtics scored one final bucket but could do no more. The Hawks finally had a title, 110-109.[1] Pettit had scored 50 points, including 18 of the Hawks' final 21 points in propelling the Hawks to the championship.[7] Pettit's 50 points set a new Finals record for most scored by a player in a series-clinching game, a record that would finally be tied by Giannis Antetokounmpo in 2021

Most observers[who?] figured that the Celtics probably would have won the 1958 title if Russell had not suffered his ankle injury in game 3.[1] Auerbach, however, found no comfort in that opinion. "You can always look for excuses," he said. "We just got beat."[1]

Series summary

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

Team rosters

St. Louis Hawks

Boston Celtics

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f "NBA.com: Pettit Drops 50 on Celtics in Game 6". NBA.com. Archived from the original on February 22, 2012. Retrieved May 27, 2007.
  2. ^ "St. Louis Hawks at Boston Celtics Box Score, March 29, 1958".
  3. ^ "St. Louis Hawks at Boston Celtics Box Score, March 30, 1958".
  4. ^ "Boston Celtics at St. Louis Hawks Box Score, April 2, 1958".
  5. ^ "Boston Celtics at St. Louis Hawks Box Score, April 5, 1958".
  6. ^ "St. Louis Hawks at Boston Celtics Box Score, April 9, 1958".
  7. ^ "Boston Celtics at St. Louis Hawks Box Score, April 12, 1958".