Prior to the team’s game against the Stags in Chicago, the Warriors announced that forward Fred Sheffield had been “loaned” to the Reading Keys of the Eastern Pennsylvania Basketball League for the duration of the season. Sheffield, who averaged 3.4 points a contest in 22 games with Philadelphia, had been in the starting five early on for Eddie Gottlieb, but had increasingly found himself relegated to the end of the bench, and had not appeared since January 16, the last time the Warriors played the Stags.
With or without Sheffield, the Warriors had yet to beat Chicago in three contests. The Stags, at 21-14 were trying to keep pace with the Western Division leaders, the St Louis Bombers, but had been playing resolutely average basketball since the first of the month, alternating wins and losses in their last ten games. Their most recent game was a convincing 97-76 win over Providence three days ago.
Meanwhile, the Warriors came to town having beaten the Falcons in Detroit just the night before and weren’t as rested as they might have hoped to be. It was an impressive crowd of 8,960 in Chicago Stadium that greeted the teams as they took the court. Taking note of Joe Fulks‘ 34 points in their previous meeting, the Stags tried to neutralize the league’s scoring leader with a double-team consisting of Chick Halbert and Bill Davis and the strategy was reasonably effective. Still, the Warriors stayed close in the first two periods, trailing 30-27 at halftime.
Early in the third quarter, Chicago coach Ole Olsen gave Halbert a rest and immediately regretted it. Fulks sank three of his next four shots and the Warriors found themselves in front 39-36. Olsen immediately put Halbert back in the game to stem the tide. By the end of the quarter, Chicago had regained a 42-41 lead. Early in the fourth quarter, Pete Rosenberg tied the score at 44-all with a shot from way outside, but from that point forward, the Stags kicked into high gear and the tired Warriors simply couldn’t keep up. Mickey Rottner and Jim Seminoff led the Chicago charge that ran the lead up to 12 points for a time. The Warriors put on a last-minute flurry, but could get no closer than six and had to accept a 63-57 defeat.
Olsen’s defensive strategy held Fulks to just 19 points, though the Warriors’ star was still the game’s high scorer. Davis and Max Zaslofsky led Chicago with 12 points each. The win bumped the Stags to 22-14, helping them keep pace three games back of the Bombers. Philadelphia dropped to 18-16, a game behind the second-place Knicks and 9 1/2 games back of the Capitols in the East. The Warriors would now return home to enjoy a four-day rest before hosting New York for the first game of a home-and-home series against their division rivals.
January 26, 1947
Stags 63, Warriors 57
BAA Eastern Division standings at the end of the day (courtesy ShrpSports):
Washington 27-6 .818
New York 18-14 .562 8 1/2
Philadelphia 18-16 .529 9 1/2
Providence 14-17 .452 12
Toronto 12-20 .375 14 1/2
Boston 12-23 .343 16