The two teams emerged as the strongest in the NBA, featuring greats such as Bill Russell, Tom Heinsohn, John Havlicek, Sam Jones and head coach Red Auerbach for Boston and Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Gail Goodrich, and coach/GM Fred Schaus for Los Angeles. Their win in Game 6 was also a sense of relief. The Celtics won the NBA Finals in 1974,[33] and won again in 1976,[34] under the leadership of coach Tom Heinsohn and players Dave Cowens, Paul Silas and Jo Jo White. [44], The Lakers opened the series with a 115–109 victory at the Boston Garden. Los Angeles Lakers 4. [121], The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Celtics four games to two. The Lakers or Celtics appeared in the Finals series every year of the decade. To me, it was The Two and the other 80." [26] Chamberlain (whose knee was so bad that he could not play the entire offseason and ruptured it in the next season) was livid at Russell and saw him as a backstabber. [86] In 2007, they made blockbuster trades for All-Stars Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen,[87][88] who complemented career-long Celtics star Paul Pierce and emerging star Rajon Rondo. On December 30, 2015, the Boston Celtics honored the Los Angeles Lakers' star Kobe Bryant in his final game in TD Garden. In Game 7, Laker Frank Selvy, after making two jumpers in the final 40 seconds to tie the game,[111][112] missed a potential title-winning 18 foot jump shot in regulation, a miss which he said in June 2010 still haunted him more than 40 years later. The Celtics fended off the late Los Angeles rally to capture the NBA title and send Red Auerbach out a champion. [19] The Celtics would win the series in Game 5 with a 129–96 victory over the Lakers. However, the Lakers proceeded to miss the playoffs a record six consecutive seasons, highlighted by four straight seasons with over 50 losses and a franchise-low 17–65 mark during the 2015–16 season. However, the Celtics would close out the series in Game 6 with a dominant 131–92 win. [31] They would not make it to the Finals again in this decade, but in 1975 they acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.[32]. [14] Despite finishing second in the division standings for the first time in a decade, Boston would return to the Finals for a record tenth straight time . Bryant helped the Lakers win three consecutive titles from 2000-02, and they fell short of another with a loss to the Pistons in 2004. The Celtics won Game 1, and the two teams would alternate victories through Game 5. [44] The Celtics went on to win in seven games, increasing their record of Finals' series victories against the Lakers to 8–0.[45]. This was the first NBA Finals to go the full seven games since 2005, and only the fourth since the NBA switched the Finals to a 2–3–2 format in 1985. [59] This would prove to be a defining moment of the NBA, a changing of the old guard as the Lakers and Celtics fell into mediocrity, while the Bulls won six titles led by Jordan, Scottie Pippen and coach Phil Jackson, who would cement their respective reputations as the greatest player and coach in NBA history. [115][116], After they both missed the NBA Finals in 1967, the Lakers and the Celtics would meet again in 1968. [44] Bird was named MVP of the series. The Celtics later won the Finals in 6 games. "[40] Despite the encouragement, the 76ers lost the 1982 NBA Finals to the Lakers, who were led by new head coach Pat Riley. I knew he could play, but I didn't know he could play like this. [55] With the two future Hall of Famers, the league won a whole generation of new fans. Several journalists hypothesized that the Johnson–Bird rivalry was so appealing because it represented many other contrasts, such as the clash between the Lakers and Celtics, between Hollywood flashiness ("Lakers Showtime") and Boston/Indiana blue collar grit ("Celtic Pride"), and between blacks and whites. The animosity against Ainge and Boston stemmed from Riley’s days as coach of the Lakers during the two teams’ peak rivalry days in the ’80s. Boston's new Big Three reached the NBA's big stage. The Celtics were forced to foul Sasha Vujačić, he went to the line and made both free throws to give the Lakers a definitive 83–79 lead. In contrast to the frequent Lakers-Celtics championship match-ups, the Dodgers and Red Sox were meeting in the World Series for the first time (since the Dodgers franchise relocated to Los Angeles).[58]. Boston's new Big … by spotoneout Plays Quiz not verified by Sporcle . The Celtics have the edge with 17 NBA crowns and the Lakers have 16. BRIAN MAHONEY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. Los Angeles eliminated the San Antonio Spurs in five games, wrapping up the series with a 100-92 victory on Thursday. Despite having numerous opportunities, the Lakers couldn't get over the hump and Don Nelson would make an incredible foul-line jump-shot which bounced off the back iron and fell in. Boston earned its first trip since 1987 by beating the Detroit Pistons in six games in the Eastern Conference finals. [82] Without O'Neal, the Lakers missed the playoffs the following year and failed to advance to the Finals for the next three years.[83][84][85]. Boston's streak of 10 consecutive Finals appearances had been snapped in 1967 by the 76ers. They also looked to be in control of Game 4, holding their ground for most of the third quarter, leading by as many as 24 points. Magic’s Lakers of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and James Worthy first took on Larry’s Celtics including Robert Parish, Kevin McHale, and Dennis Johnson in the 1984 Finals. Bird had hit a three-point bomb with 12 seconds remaining to give the Celtics the lead, however, with two seconds remaining, Magic Johnson sank a "junior sky hook" to give the Lakers a 107–106 lead, then Bird missed a 20-foot jumper as time expired, allowing Los Angeles to gain a three games to one lead. Minneapolis hadn't made an appearance in the Finals since winning four of the first five NBA Championships between 1950–1954, while Boston was making its third straight Finals appearance after winning in 1957 and losing in 1958. As of the end of the 2019–20 season, Boston is the only team with a winning overall record against the Lakers.[3]. [29] However, the Lakers rebounded two years later to win the 1972 NBA Finals and their first championship in Los Angeles, also against the Knicks. The rivalry has been less intense since the retirements of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in the early 1990s. Before the game started, Laker's owner Jack Kent Cooke placed flyers in every seat stating "When, not if, the Lakers win the title, balloons will be released from the raftors, the USC marching band will play "Happy Days Are Here Again" and broadcaster Chick Hearn will interview Elgin Baylor, Jerry West and Wilt Chamberlain in that order. With House's shot, the Celtics were in the lead for good, winning 97–91. [78] O'Neal pulled a Boston reporter over and gestured toward his notepad. [39], The Celtics lost the 1982 Eastern Conference Finals to the 76ers, and along with it the possibility of a rematch with the Lakers. 2020 NBA Finals > (1) Los Angeles Lakers vs. (5) Miami Heat. Worthy had 29 points while Abdul-Jabbar had 26 points and 14 rebounds. The Lakers also returned to the Finals with the help of the mid-season acquisition of Pau Gasol,[89] and the two teams finally met again in the 2008 NBA Finals. [101], The Celtics signed Shaquille O'Neal for the 2010–2011 season to replace the injured Kendrick Perkins, adding to the rivalry by bringing the Shaq-Kobe feud to the Celtics-Lakers. However, the Celtics eventually fell in six games to the New Jersey Nets in that year's Eastern Conference Finals. [47] In the 1987 NBA Finals, the two teams met for a tie-breaker of their 1980s Finals matches, and the Lakers once again emerged victorious in six games, with the iconic image of Johnson's junior sky hook. [22] The Celtics won all of those match-ups. They did not reach the Finals again until 2008. It will be the 11th championship meeting between the franchises, with Boston winning eight of its NBA-best 16 titles against the Lakers. Back in 1986, the Lakers were the defending champs. It was a seesaw, give-and-take contest. [45] The Celtics would win Game 4 before the Lakers would come back and win another close victory in Game 5. [56] The rivalry between Bird, Johnson, and their teams contributed greatly to the success of the league during the decade; according to Bryant Gumbel, "Magic and Larry saved the NBA. "[79] In 2002, the Celtics, with Pierce and Antoine Walker, made an impressive run for the Finals and the two teams narrowly missed each other. [16] The Lakers would be the Celtics opponent in six of those series: 1962,[17] 1963,[18] 1965,[19] 1966,[20] 1968,[21] and 1969. Despite this, the Celtics upset the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks and made it to the Finals. [17] In the Game 5 victory, Baylor grabbed 22 rebounds and set the still-standing NBA record for points in a finals game with 61,[109] despite fouling out of the game. In the game the Lakers rallied from a 14-point deficit to three points down with one minute remaining, when Maxwell knocked the ball away from Magic Johnson. It was a grueling seven-game matchup ultimately won by the Celtics. The Celtics rebounded the following year to win the 1986 NBA Finals against the Rockets. [25], The 1969 Finals also caused a deterioration in the relationship between Russell and Chamberlain, who had previously been friends despite their rivalry, into one of intense loathing, when Chamberlain took himself out of the decisive Game 7 with six minutes left, and Russell thereafter accused Chamberlain of being a malingerer and of "copping out" of the game when it seemed that the Lakers would lose. Minneapolis, led by rookie sensation Elgin Baylor, made the Finals by defeating the defending World Champion St. Louis Hawks. When Magic Johnson won the MVP Finals plum, the following year Larry Bird would snatch the crown. However, the final game of that series is memorable to the rivalry because Boston fans chanted for the 76ers, who were just about to eliminate their Celtics, to "Beat L.A.! Minneapolis would win the first ever Championship Series of the newly formed NBA in 1950 (three BAA Finals were played between 1947–1949 and retroactively counted as NBA Championships, one of which was won by the Lakers in 1949). https://www.sportskeeda.com/basketball/5-biggest-rivals-la-lakers-ranked Sure enough, despite several close games, including the decisive game only having a three-point differential once again, the Celtics would only require six games to close out the Lakers this time. The Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers have met a record 12 times in the NBA Finals, starting with their first Finals meeting in 1959. In the game, the Lakers answered the Celtics rough tactics when Worthy shoved Cedric Maxwell into a basket support. The following year, the Lakers finally had their revenge, winning the 1985 NBA Finals by taking Game 6 in Boston Garden, becoming the only visiting team to win an NBA championship in that arena. Rondo would miss his final 3-pointer and the Lakers won Game 7 against the Celtics for the first time in franchise history, clinching their 16th NBA title.[132]. As of 2018, the Celtics and Lakers have a .590 and .596 all-time winning records respectively. It was a seesaw, give-and-take contest. [64][65][66][67][68] In 1994, neither the Lakers nor the Celtics made the playoffs, marking the first time in the history of the NBA that both teams missed the playoffs in the same season. In Game 6, the Celtics closed out the Lakers in convincing fashion with a 124–109 victory. However, he would score 10 of his game-high 24 points in the fourth quarter. [45], This was the first NBA Finals series between the Lakers and Celtics after the Lakers moved to Los Angeles.[17]. [80], The Lakers returned to the Finals in 2004 but lost at the hands of the Detroit Pistons. Boston and the Lakers of Magic Johnson, James Worthy and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar dominated the NBA in the 1980s: From 1980-88, the two rivals won all but one of the nine NBA championships -- three for Boston, five for Los Angeles (and one for the Philadelphia 76ers) -- and met for the title three times in four years. Kobe Bryant was named Finals MVP for the second straight year. The Celtics and Lakers are meeting again in the NBA Finals, with Kobe and KG taking their place alongside the likes of Magic and Bird in the league's most storied rivalry. [114][124] However, for the 1994 Knicks, the first round was a best-of-five. Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen, Boston's three All-Stars, are all in the Finals for the first time. During the first decade of the NBA in the 1950s, the Minneapolis Lakers had the first NBA dynasty. However, the Celtics went on a 21–3 run to end the third quarter, closing the deficit to only two points (73–71). The Celtics ended the series with an 89-81 victory Friday and will host Game 1 of the Finals on Thursday night. [20], The Celtics won the next three games and looked ready to close out L.A. in Game 5. Only the Lakers made an appearance in the NBA Finals that decade, losing the 1991 NBA Finals to Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, the first championship in the Bulls' dynasty. May 30, 2008 Updated: March 23, 2011 2:11 p.m. Facebook Twitter Email. [46] Lakers owner Jerry Buss famously remarked that "this has removed the most odious sentence in the English language. The Lakers won Game 1 102–89, led by Kobe Bryant's 30-point performance. [13] This would mark the first Finals loss for the previously dominant Lakers, and the first of eight straight titles for Boston. [81] Thereafter, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat. [48] In Game 5, the Celtics prevented the Lakers from celebrating in the Boston Garden by coming away with a 123–108 win. [48] Magic Johnson was named unanimous MVP of the series, averaging 26.2 points, 13.0 assists, 8.0 rebounds, and 2.3 steals, leading the Lakers in all four categories. [77] The Lakers' title in 2000 came against the Indiana Pacers who were coached by Celtic legend Bird. Boston would face a tough seven-game series against the Syracuse Nationals but would eventually emerge victorious, leading Celtic star Bob Cousy to predict that Boston would sweep Minneapolis. The Lakers would beat the Celtics 112-104. They would both go on to dominate the league in the 1960s and 1980s, facing each other six times in the 1960s, three times in the 1980s, and two times in 2008 and 2010. The Celtics, however, would begin to show their age when they began missing shots and turning the ball over and Laker Jerry West pulled L.A. to within one. The Celtics won in six games with an impressive come-from-behind victory in Game 4 and a blow-out of the Lakers in Game 6. However, Ray Allen would respond in Game 2 by scoring 32-points and sinking a record eight 3-pointers, leading the Celtics to a 103–94 victory.[125]. However the Celtics would hold on to win 108-102, taking the commanding 2–0 series lead. [4][5][6] Under Hall of Fame head coach John Kundla, and with the NBA's first superstar in George Mikan,[7] they would win three more titles in 1952,[8] 1953,[9] and 1954. The Celtics likewise made little playoff progress after their near Finals run of 2002. Brown died during the season, and Red Auerbach led the team back to the Finals with his first Coach of the Year award. [36], The Celtics–Lakers rivalry was renewed in the 1980s, in large part due to the personal rivalry between Bird and Johnson. [91] The Lakers won that game, making Phil Jackson the fastest coach to win 1,000 games. The start of the decade saw the Lakers' woes in the NBA Finals continue, with a loss to the New York Knicks in 1970. [46] In Game 3, the Celtics had a 48–38 lead in the second quarter before the Lakers, led by James Worthy, took a 65–59 lead at halftime and then pulled away in the second half to come away with a 136–111 victory. Then Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West retired, and the Lakers missed the playoffs in 1975 and 1976.In between, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was acquired, and the Lakers returned to prominence in 1977, … Who is best pro athlete from every Western Wash. high school? Summary and statistics for the 1980 NBA Finals - 76ers vs. Lakers In between, the Celtics won in 1981, 1984 and 1986. "Take this down", said O'Neal. [105][106], On February 20, 2013, the Lakers played their first game since the death of long time owner Jerry Buss who had died two days earlier, paying tribute to him at the Staples Center before facing off against the Celtics. The following players have played for both the Celtics and the Lakers in their careers: The following individuals have also played, coached and/or managed both the Celtics and Lakers in their careers: 1950s: Minneapolis Lakers dynasty and Boston Celtics, 1960s: Boston Celtics dynasty and Los Angeles Lakers, 2010s: Roles reversed Lakers tie championship record, 1962 NBA Finals: Boston Celtics vs Los Angeles Lakers, NBA on CBS 1982 Celtics/Sixers Game 7 Finish ("Beat LA"), National Basketball Association rivalries, Lakers versus Celtics and the NBA Playoffs, "NBA : Series records : Los Angeles Lakers - select an opponent (sorted by all-time win %)", "Lakers: First Champs of Newly Formed NBA", "Celtics Officially Launch Their Dynasty", "Unbreakable" Sports Records (The World Almanac), "Celtics, Lakers Work OT to Start Rivalry", "Red Lights Cigar to Close Coaching Career", "West's Heroics Can't Deprive Russell of 11th Title", "Chat Transcript: Celtics Legend Bill Russell", "Lakers' Legendary Season Leads to Elusive Title", "Celtics Win First Title of Post-Russell Era", "Triple-OT Classic Highlights Boston's 13th Title", "Rookie Makes the Lakers Believe in Magic", "Region revs up for an East-West rivalry reborn", "Moses Helps Dr. J, Sixers Reach Promised Land", "Celtics Win First Bird-Magic Finals Showdown", "Kareem, Lakers Conquer the Celtic Mystique", "Frontcourt Vaults Celtics to Front of the Pack", "Waiting Game Ends for Impatient Pistons", https://www.mlb.com/cut4/magic-johnson-and-larry-bird-created-a-world-series-intro-video/c-299881438, "Bulls Finally Get That Championship Feeling", "15 years since Magic's HIV announcement", "Say It Ain't So (Transactions that broke our hearts)", "NBA – Lakers Sign O'Neal Raise Ticket Prices", "Shaq signs multi-million contract with LA Lakers", "Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Bos Score, March 13, 2001", Daily Dime: Pierce elevates his game for the Lakers, "Lakers Acquire Odom, Butler, Grant and a Future First Rounder for Shaq", Doc Rivers goes back to the bench, hired to coach Boston Celtics, Celtics Acquire Seven-Time All-Star Ray Allen from Sonics, Celtics Acquire 10-Time All-Star Kevin Garnett, "Gasol sparks Lakers' late run to end Celtics' win streak", "L.A. Finishes Off Magic, Claims 15th Championship", "Artest says he's leaving Rockets for LA", "NBA free agents: Ron Artest gets his wish, finally becomes a Los Angeles Laker", "Lakers, Celtics aiming at Finals rematch", "Celtics overpower Magic to cruise to 3-0 advantage in East finals", "2010 NBA Playoffs - Conference Finals - Suns vs. Lakers", "2010 NBA Playoffs - Conference Finals - Celtics vs. Magic", "Revenge! The Celtics have the edge with 17 NBA crowns and the Lakers have 16. [126] Game 4 would prove to be a close and hard-fought game, with the Lakers up by two at the end of the third quarter. [46] Abdul-Jabbar led the Lakers with 36 points. But while the Celtics were able to return to the playoffs over the next three seasons and even made the Eastern Conference Finals in 2017 and 2018, the Lakers found themselves in a lengthy rebuilding process. This was the largest margin of victory in a deciding Finals game, and would not be broken until 2008, when the Celtics defeated the Lakers once again by a score of 131–92. Garnett and Allen were acquired in offseason trades, and together with Pierce led the Celtics to the largest turnaround in NBA history. Carr as he left the floor, causing him to label the series "all-out-war. [133] Game 7 was watched by an average audience of 1.1 million viewers on TSN, making it the largest Canadian audience ever recorded for an NBA game. The Lakers' run of futility rewarded them with several high first-round picks (D'Angelo Russell, Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball were selected second overall), while the Celtics benefited from the Brooklyn Nets' ill-fated 2013 trade for Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett with their top-three selections of Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum. The following year, the Lakers again faced the Knicks in the 1973 NBA Finals and lost. However, the Lakers would edge out for close victories in Game 2 and Game 3. [72][73] The following year, in 1999, Phil Jackson joined the Lakers as head coach. Boston triumphed in Game 7, 111-102. Kobe Bryant exhibited difficulties for much of the game, shooting only 6-for-24 from the field. [12], The first NBA Finals match-up between the two teams was in 1959 when on April 9, the Boston Celtics swept the Minneapolis Lakers 4-0 for the first sweep in the history of the NBA Finals. Isiah Thomas didn’t play for either team during that time, but he used to be a regular presence in their locker rooms. Boston was led by their 'Big Three' of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen. [114] Paul Pierce was named Finals MVP. [42] The 1982–1983 season would also be the rookie year of Laker James Worthy, another Hall of Famer in the storied rivalry. [46] The Celtics tied the series in Game 4, 107–105 as Dennis Johnson hit a jumper at the buzzer. The game was also marked by Celtic forward Kevin McHale's takedown of Laker forward Kurt Rambis on a breakaway layup which triggered the physical aspect of the rivalry. I didn't care about anything else. [43], The Celtics would get a new head coach in K.C. [118] Despite this, West was inconsolable. Minnesota Muskies vs. Pittsburgh Pipers; Boston Celtics vs. Philadelphia 76ers; West Division Finals. Worthy had 28 points on 11 for 15 shooting trades, and Red Auerbach out Champion. Lakers answered the Celtics ' victory in Game 4 and a buzzer-beater by Jones. % ) in NBA history, with Boston winning eight of its NBA-best 16 titles against the in... 5 and 6 which set up the first time could play like this Knicks. Order the defiant coach to win the series up at two games.... > ( 1 ) Los Angeles Lakers ; Finals 2010 NBA Finals for the first round and New! 21 ] the Lakers won two of the Game 89–67 and set up an epic Game match-ups... 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