76ers

Sixers Home School: Why Celtics fans cheered for Sixers to 'Beat L.A.' in 1982

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There's a lot of home schooling going on right now, so why not use some of this time to learn more about the history of your favorite teams? It's also a perfect time to share that knowledge with the next generation. In Sixers Home School, we'll delve into YouTube videos of some of the iconic games, players and moments in franchise history. The 1982 "Beat L.A." game is a great place to start.

In the words of Marc Zumoff, the Sixers and Celtics were "on the seesaw" in the early 1980s. The Sixers started the decade with the upper hand, beating a Celtics team led by rookie Larry Bird in the 1980 Eastern Conference Finals. But the Celtics turned the tables the following year, beating the Sixers in a classic seven-game series in the 1981 Eastern Conference Finals on their way to an NBA title. 

That brings us to today's featured video, a compilation of clips from Game 7 of the 1982 Eastern Conference Finals at Boston Garden. The visiting Sixers thoroughly outplayed the Celtics on the famed parquet floor, the outcome so certain in the final minutes that Boston fans chanted "Beat L.A.," urging the Sixers to beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals. 

There are a few things that really stand out in this video. In only his second season, Andrew Toney exploded for 34 points, his third game of 30 or more points in the series, well on his way to becoming "The Boston Strangler." Julius Erving was all over the floor. Dick Stockton's play-by-play just makes it feel like a huge 1980s NBA game. 

 

Also, the three-point line is on the floor but both teams' complete disdain for those shots is hilarious to watch from today's perspective. And around the 6:35 mark, Boston fans fully acknowledge defeat, with the iconic chant of "Beat L.A." 

If that doesn't give you chills, you might not be a Sixers fan.



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