"[96] The Lakers ended the season with the West's best record, while the Celtics would enter the playoffs as the number four seed. In Game 6, the Lakers were led by Abdul-Jabbar who scored 29 points as the Lakers defeated the Celtics 111–100. With the disbanding of Boston's Big Three, and anticipated changes to the Lakers' roster, some believe that the 2011–12 NBA season was the last chapter of the current Celtics–Lakers rivalry. Chamberlain was pleading for Breda Kolff to put him back in, but he refused. [31] They would not make it to the Finals again in this decade, but in 1975 they acquired Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.[32]. by spotoneout Plays Quiz not verified by Sporcle . The Celtics would again defeat the Lakers. Kobe Bryant exhibited difficulties for much of the game, shooting only 6-for-24 from the field. [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. "[19], Unlike their previous two encounters, the Celtics dominated the Lakers, who were playing without an injured Elgin Baylor, and only Game 2 had a close score. Despite this, the Celtics upset the Philadelphia 76ers and the New York Knicks and made it to the Finals. During this, another battle was heating up off the court between Jack Kent Cooke and Lakers coach Butch Van Breda Kolff. [91] The Lakers won that game, making Phil Jackson the fastest coach to win 1,000 games. This was the third time in four years that the Bucks and the Celtics had met in the playoffs; the Bucks defeated the Celtics in the 1983 Eastern Conference Semifinals, and the Celtics defeated the Bucks in the 1984 Eastern Conference Finals. [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. [2] 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. [39], The Celtics lost the 1982 Eastern Conference Finals to the 76ers, and along with it the possibility of a rematch with the Lakers. [118], One of the lasting effects on the Lakers–Celtics rivalry was the usage of the famous "Beat L.A.!" 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. [43], The Celtics would get a new head coach in K.C. [46], The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Celtics four games to two. 1984-85: Lakers Finally End Celtics Hex. The Celtics fended off the late Los Angeles rally to capture the NBA title and send Red Auerbach out a champion. 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. [22] The Celtics won all of those match-ups. The Lakers would beat the Celtics 112-104. [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. 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.! 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, … 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. [101][102] The Lakers won Game 7 against the Celtics for their very first time, bringing their total number of NBA championships to sixteen (they have one NBL championship in 1948), just one fewer than the Celtics' seventeen. The game was known as the "Heat Game", as it was played under 97 °F-heat, and without any air conditioning at the infamous Boston Garden. However, they won Game 3 and a buzzer-beater by Sam Jones tied the series up at two games apiece. A frustrated Bryant criticized the front office following last summer's loss to Phoenix and said he wanted to be traded, but instead the Lakers kept him and upgraded the team around him. Brown died during the season, and Red Auerbach led the team back to the Finals with his first Coach of the Year award. [45], This was the first NBA Finals series between the Lakers and Celtics after the Lakers moved to Los Angeles.[17]. Los Angeles brought back Derek Fisher, Bryant's teammate on the previous championship teams, then pulled off a major trade during the season by acquiring Pau Gasol from Memphis. By contrast, the aging Celtics struggled to obtain the fourth seed, with Russell and Jones playing in their final seasons. The rivalry has been less intense since the retirements of Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in the early 1990s. [44] In Game 6, the Lakers evened the series with a 119–108 victory. [108] This marked the first of Boston's record eight straight titles. game in the NBA Finals, and Los Angeles was unable to break the string. Crushed by the Houston Rockets in … "My name is Shaquille O'Neal and Paul Pierce is the [expletive] truth. In what was the most-watched college basketball game ever,[35] Michigan State defeated Indiana State 75–64, and Johnson was voted Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. [114], This was the Boston Celtics' eighth consecutive NBA Championship, a feat unrivaled in North American professional sports. [22], After losing the first two games in the Forum in L.A., no one thought Boston would even pull out a victory. However, behind the efforts of Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, and Gail Goodrich, the Lakers won the next two games, setting the stage for another classic Game 7 in the Boston Garden. [20] The Celtics raced out to a huge lead, but down by 16 entering the fourth quarter, and 10 with a minute and a half to go, the Lakers mounted a furious rally in the closing moments which fell just short. After the game, a Laker fan threw a beer at Celtics guard M.L. [38] The following year, behind the "Big Three" of future Hall of Famers Bird, Kevin McHale, and Robert Parish, the Celtics won the 1981 NBA Finals against the Houston Rockets. Summary and statistics for the 1980 NBA Finals - 76ers vs. Lakers Entering the game, they set a record of most playoff games played in one season, with 26, breaking the previous record of 25 set by both the 1994 New York Knicks, whom Celtics Coach Doc Rivers played for, and the 2005 Detroit Pistons, both of whom lost in their respective finals in seven games (Knicks in 1994, Pistons in 2005). [45], Playing off their rivalry in the NCAA and NBA, Johnson and Bird reunited to promote Game 5 of the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers (of which Johnson is a part-owner) and Boston Red Sox. However, the Celtics went on a 21–3 run to end the third quarter, closing the deficit to only two points (73–71). During those 10 years, every single NBA Finals included at least one of the two teams, and they faced off on three occasions. No, you haven't gone for a ride in a time machine back to the 1980s. [21], The Lakers, led by new head coach Butch van Breda Kolff, would actually root for the Celtics to win the series, thinking that Bill Russell would be easier to defeat than 76er Wilt Chamberlain (Chamberlain would become a Laker the following season). [44] After the game, Bird said his team played like "sissies" in an attempt to light a fire under his teammates. Magic had a triple-double with 15 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds; Worthy had 28 points on 11 for 15 shooting. In addition, the Celtics went on to sign All-Star free agents Al Horford and Gordon Hayward in addition to acquiring Kyrie Irving from the Cavaliers. However, the Lakers opened up a massive lead in Game 6, peaking at 27. 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. Garnett and Allen were acquired in offseason trades, and together with Pierce led the Celtics to the largest turnaround in NBA history. [24] West was named Finals MVP despite being on the losing team,[22] but it was small consolation in a decade where the Lakers went without a championship, every one of their Finals' losses in that decade coming at the hands of the Celtics. [77] The Lakers' title in 2000 came against the Indiana Pacers who were coached by Celtic legend Bird. [110] The Celtics won Game 6 to set up the first Game 7 between the two franchises. [46] In Game 5, the Lakers raced out to a 64–51 lead and stretched it to 89–72 before the Celtics cut the deficit to 101–97 with six minutes remaining. [42] The 1982–1983 season would also be the rookie year of Laker James Worthy, another Hall of Famer in the storied rivalry. This was the first NBA Finals series between the Lakers and the Celtics, and the only such meeting to occur while the Lakers were still in Minneapolis. Carr as he left the floor, causing him to label the series "all-out-war. The Lakers were making their third consecutive appearance in the NBA Finals, having won in 1982 and lost in 1983. [123], The Lakers would win Game 5 103–98, despite blowing another large lead, and the series shifted back to Boston. The Lakers had home court advantage for the first time and won the first two games, but the Celtics rebounded to force and win a dramatic Game 7 at the Los Angeles Forum, defying Laker's owner Jack Kent Cooke's infamous prediction of a Lakers celebration. [131] However, the Celtics would not give up, and Rajon Rondo would hit a 3-pointer to make the game 81–79. Laker coach Fred Schaus privately fumed that Red's hiring had taken away all of the accolades his Lakers should have received following their tremendous Game 1 win. Who is best pro athlete from every Western Wash. high school? The following year they would again both be eliminated by the eventual 2012 NBA Finals participants, the Oklahoma City Thunder and Miami Heat, respectively. The Celtics would e… [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. Kobe Bryant was named Finals MVP for the second straight year. Much of both rosters had been kept intact since the teams last meeting in 2008 and the Celtics' veterans Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Rasheed Wallace looked to add to their championship résumés, while Kobe Bryant and the Lakers looked to even the score against the Celtics. [30] This would also prove to be Laker great Jerry West's only NBA title. The Celtics rebounded the following year to win the 1986 NBA Finals against the Rockets. They met again in the 2010 NBA Finals, which the Lakers won in 7 games. Boston's streak of 10 consecutive Finals appearances had been snapped in 1967 by the 76ers. [60][61][62] Both teams also faced set backs in the form of personal misfortune. Magic Johnson had 29 points, 13 assists, and 8 rebounds, while James Worthy had 33 points, 10 assists, and 9 rebounds. [127] The Celtics won the game and evened the series. [122] The Celtics won Game 1 98–88, highlighted by a dramatic comeback by Paul Pierce after a third quarter knee injury. The Lakers' bench had outscored Boston's bench 24–0 entering the fourth quarter. Magic and Bird were the measuring sticks of the league in the '80s and they used each other as motivation. Dennis Johnson responded by sinking two free throws to seal the Celtics' victory. [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. 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