The Celtics vs Lakers rivalry in the NBA finals is legendary

Celtics vs Lakers

For nearly three decades, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers dominated the National Basketball Association. The two teams met in two of the most legendary championship series ever played. 

Celtics vs Lakers: 

An epic NBA finals rivalry The rivalry between the Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers seemed to be cast in stone as soon as they met for their first NBA Finals matchup in 1959.

The Celtics won that series 4-3 and went on to capture eight more titles over the next dozen years. 

Meanwhile, the Lakers had to wait until 1971 for their first title. But then something strange happened: the Lakers won five championships in nine seasons in the 1980s (1980, 1982, 1985, 1987, and 1988). While the Celtics failed to win a championship from 1965 to 1986! That’s an astonishing gap of 21 years! 

The rivalry peaked when Larry Bird and Earvin “Magic” Johnson faced off in three consecutive NBA Finals from 1984 through ’87 each time with the title going to L.A.’s high-flying showmen (the Lakers winning two of those three).

The two teams met again in 2008 when Pau Gasol’s Lakers beat Kevin Garnett’s Celtics 4-2 on their way to winning another title.

The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers have met a record 12 times in the NBA Finals, with the Celtics winning nine of those matchups.

The two teams will face off for the 13th time in NBA Finals history when they tip-off Game 1 at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday night.

The Celtics have been in the Finals more than any other team. But the Lakers have been to more than any other franchise (16). The two teams have played each other twice in three of the past four years. Including last season’s memorable seven-game series that came down to a buzzer-beater.

While the rivalry between these two franchises is one of the best in sports, it’s not a rivalry at all. The Lakers are just one team that has had more success than most against Boston over the years.

There’s also an individual rivalry between two of the game’s greatest players:

Kobe Bryant of the Lakers versus Paul Pierce of the Celtics. While they are no longer playing in the league together, both men were able to lead their respective franchises to numerous victories over their rivals.

The drama between these two teams is rich and extensive due to several factors. The location of where they play is one of them as both cities are surrounded by water and are among some of the most historic cities in North America. 

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