Celtics vs. Lakers: An epic NBA finals rivalry
2010: Lakers win 4-3
The Lakers' Ron Artest came up big in Games 6 and 7 to help Los Angeles rally from a 3-2 series deficit and repeat as NBA champions. The Lakers won Games 1, 3, 6 and 7.
2008: Celtics win 4-2
The Celtics' Glen Davis lays the ball up over the Lakers' Kobe Bryant. It had been 21 years since these rivals had last met, and the Celtics won the series with victories in Games 1, 2, 4 and 6. The clinching game included many new and matched records, including a record-high 18 steals and a record-tying seven 3-pointers by Ray Allen.
1987: Lakers win 4-2
Lakers center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar goes for a hook shot against Robert Parish of the Celtics. Although the Lakers started off shaky in the deciding game (trailing by five entering the second half and Magic Johnson scoring just four points), they revved up following a breakaway dunk by Johnson when a loose ball recovered by James Worthy was hit back into play. The Lakers beat the Celtics 106-93 in Game 6.
1985: Lakers win 4-2
The Celtics' Larry Bird shoots a a running hook shot over the Lakers' Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. This series marked the first time the Lakers beat the Celtics in the NBA finals. Kareem (finals MVP) averaged 30.2 points, including a memorable rebound and full-court drive followed up with a sky-hook swish. After winning the title, Lakers owner Jerry Buss said "this trophy removes the most odious sentence in the English language: It can never be said again that the Lakers have never beaten the Celtics."
1984: Celtics win 4-3
The Celtics' Kevin McHale shoots a jump shot against the Lakers during Game 7 in Boston. Game 4 began a physical aspect of the rivalry as McHale took down Los Angeles' Kurt Rambis and Boston's Larry Bird shoved Michael Cooper to the baseline. In Game 6, the fans joined into the battle as a spectator threw a beer at Celtics guard M.L. Carr. Also of interest, Game 5 was dubbed the "Heat Game" as Boston Garden was a scorching 97 degrees and oxygen tanks were on hand for exhausted players. Even under these conditions, Larry Bird (finals MVP) posted 34 points and led his team to a 121-103 victory.
1969: Celtics win 4-3
John Havlicek of the Celtics shoots a jump shot against Johnny Egan of the Lakers. It wasn't until Game 3 that Celtics player-coach Bill Russell decided to double-team Lakers star guard Jerry West, a mistake which gave Game 1 (53 points by West) and Game 2 (41 points by West) to the Lakers. Going into Game 7, Lakers owner Jack Cooke put thousands of balloons into the rafters and organized a celebration party in anticipation of an expected victory. The fired-up Celtics beat the Lakers 108-106, in turn rewarding the local children's hospital with a large donation of balloons from the Lakers.
1968: Celtics win 4-2
Lakers center Wilt Chamberlain makes a layup against Celtics player-coach Bill Russell. The series stayed close until overtime in Game 5, when Russell blocked a shot by Elgin Baylor and Boston's Don Nelson hit a free throw to secure a 120-117 victory and a 3-2 series. After a lineup change by Russell, John Havlicek scored 40 points and the Celtics blew out the Lakers 124-109. After the game, West said, "twice tonight the ball went on the floor and (Larry) Siegfried dove for it. He didn't just go for it hard, he dove for it. They're all that way on the Celtics, and you can't teach it."
1966: Celtics win 4-3
Bill Russell goes for a dunk against the Lakers and leads Boston to the title. This championship would mark the eighth in a row for the Celtics and the longest streak in professional sports history. In Game 7, Boston's K.C. Jones slipped on an orange drink container that had been thrown onto the court causing a turnover, but the Celtics recovered to win 95-93. Bill Russell had 32 rebounds in the victory. The title marked the last time the Celtics would be coached by Hall of Famer Red Auerbach.
1965: Celtics win 4-1
Rudy LaRusso of the Lakers shoots against the Celtics. After an upsetting Game 3 loss, the Celtics came back strong in Games 4 and 5, holding the Lakers to under 100 points and clinching the championship. Sam Jones scored 37 points in Game 4, and even though Bill Russell was sidelined after being struck in the eye by Jerry West of the Lakers, he posted 22 points in Game 5.
1963: Celtics win 4-2
The Lakers' Elgin Baylor drives the ball against Bill Russell. The Celtics were heralded as "old blood" by many reporters and players. Boston's Bob Cousy responded, "We are not the oldest men alive." Following a 104-102 victory in Game 6 to win the Celtics' sixth title, Bill Russell said, "It's nice to be playing with the old pros. The old, old pros."
1962: Celtics win 4-3
Celtics coach Red Auerbach and John Havlicek pose with the NBA championship trophy after defeating the Lakers in Game 7. The final game proved a difficult hurdle for the Celtics as the Lakers' Elgin Baylor and Jerry West combined for 76 points to force overtime. In the extra period, Sam Jones led the Celtics with five of the team's 10 points and Boston won 110-107.
1959: Celtics win 4-0
The Celtics pose for a team portrait after sweeping the Lakers. Tom Heinsohn led Boston with 24.5 points per game and Bill Russell had record three consecutive games with 30 rebounds or more. This would be the last game the Lakers would play in Minneapolis and the 22nd game in a row they would lose to the Celtics.