Fresh from their heartbreaking last-second loss to the Washington Capitols, the Warriors returned home to face the Cleveland Rebels for their third game in three nights. The Rebels, at 15-16, were, like the Warriors, caught in a quagmire of middling performance for most of the season so far. Seven games behind the Western Division leading St Louis Bombers, they had managed to string together three wins before heading to Philadelphia and looked to continue their success. The teams had split their previous two contests, each team winning at home. The most recent meeting was a reasonably easy 58-44 Warriors win.
In front of 4,065 observers at the Philadelphia Arena, the Warriors dominated for most of a game that was marked by extremely physical play. The Warriors led at halftime and extended their lead to 18 at one point. Frustrated by his team’s poor play, Rebels center and erstwhile Toronto Huskies head coach Ed Sadowski committed a hard foul on Joe Fulks then threw a punch at the league’s scoring leader while they were on the ground. When game official John Nucatola tossed Sadowski from the game, Sadowski threw some choice words his way and was hit with a technical for good measure.
The tussle seemed to inspire the remaining Cleveland players, for they soon clawed their way back into the game and took the lead with about four minutes to go. The intensity ramped up quickly as the Rebels struggled to hold off Philadelphia. In a wild play under the basket, Warriors guard George Senesky emerged with a facial wound that would need four stitches to repair. With just a minute to go and Cleveland leading 77-75, the Warriors’ Angelo Musi made one of two free throws to close the gap to one. On the inbounds play Frankie Baumholtz took the pass and dribbled up the sideline only to step out of bounds and turn the ball over. On the Warriors’ ensuing possession, Ray Wertis fouled Howie Dallmar with six seconds left. Dallmar sank the free throw to tie the game at 77 and send it to overtime.
In the extra frame, with Fulks having fouled out of the game, Jerry Rullo sank two quick buckets for Philadelphia and the Warriors held the Rebels scoreless for the first four minutes of the period. Irv Rothenberg made good on a charity shot for Cleveland, but Musi and Dallmar countered with free throws of their own and the Warriors came away with a well-earned 83-78 win.
Despite missing overtime, Fulks sat in his usual position at the top of the leader board with 28 points. Musi and Jerry Fleishman also reached double digits for the Warriors. Mel Riebe led the Rebels with 17. The Warriors improved their record to 17-15 while dropping Cleveland to 15-17.
January 23, 1947
Warriors 83, Rebels 78
BAA Eastern Division standings at the end of the day (courtesy ShrpSports):
Washington 26-6 .812
New York 18-13 .581 7 1/2
Philadelphia 17-15 .531 9
Providence 13-17 .433 12
Toronto 12-19 .387 13 1/2
Boston 11-23 .324 16