lakers vs celtics - A Historic NBA Rivalry Renewed

lakers vs celtics – A Historic NBA Rivalry Renewed


The lakers vs celtics rivalry is one of the most storied in NBA history, with the two teams having faced off a record 12 times in the NBA Finals. As the league’s two most decorated franchises, the lakers vs celtics matchups through the decades have produced some of basketball’s most iconic moments and legendary players.

Key Facts about the lakers vs celtics Rivalry

Team Founded NBA Championships NBA Finals Appearances
Los Angeles Lakers 1947 17 (2nd most all-time) 32 (1st most all-time)
Boston Celtics 1946 17 (tied for most all-time) 21 (3rd most all-time)
  • The lakers vs celtics rivalry dates back to 1959, when the teams met for the first time in the NBA Finals.
  • They have since faced off in 12 Finals series, the most between any two teams in NBA history.
  • The Celtics dominated the matchups earlier on, winning 8 straight Finals vs the Lakers from 1959-1985.
  • The tide shifted in the 80s with the Lakers finally beating the Celtics in 1985 behind Magic Johnson & Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.
  • In the 2008 & 2010 Finals, the Celtics returned to glory by beating Kobe Bryant’s Lakers behind their new ‘Big Three’ of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen.
  • Most recently, the Lakers got redemption in 2010 and have now pulled ahead 9-4 in terms of Finals wins over the Celtics in their historic rivalry.

Notable lakers vs celtics Finals Matchups

1984 Finals – Series Turning Point

The 1984 Finals marked a turning point in the rivalry, where the Lakers finally overcame the Celtics dynasty that had dominated them throughout the 60s and 70s. In a hotly contested 7-game series, the Lakers emerged victorious behind MVP Magic Johnson and a breakout performance by Kurt Rambis.

Johnson was magnificent, nearly averaging a triple-double for the series as Showtime arrived on the biggest stage. His leadership powered the Lakers past the aging Celtics, signaling a shift in which franchise would dominate the decade to come.

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2008 & 2010 Finals – The Celtics’ Last Stand

In 2008, the Celtics’ newly formed ‘Big Three’ of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen led them back to glory by defeating Kobe Bryant’s Lakers. The six games showcased a fierce defensive battle, most exemplified by Kendrick Perkins’ smothering defense on Bryant.

The 2010 rematch was Kobe Bryant’s opportunity for revenge. In another physical, back-and-forth 7-game bout, Bryant finally earned his 5th ring in a grueling team effort. The Celtics fought valiantly behind an inspired Rajon Rondo, but the Lakers gutted out a gritty 83-79 win in Game 7 to prevail. It marked a final stand for Boston’s Big Three era.

Current State of the Rivalry

Entering the 2022-2023 season, the Lakers hold a 9-4 edge over the Celtics in terms of NBA Finals wins and both teams are gearing up for potentially another Finals run.

The Lakers in 2023

  • Coming off a disappointing 2022 season where they failed to make the playoffs.
  • Will go as far as LeBron James and Anthony Davis can carry them alongside new acquisition Russell Westbrook.
  • Surrounded their Big Three with young role players and 3-point shooters like Lonnie Walker IV, Troy Brown Jr. and rookie Max Christie.
  • Championship aspirations always surround the Lakers, despite their aging and flawed roster construction.

The Celtics in 2023

  • Coming off a successful yet ultimately disappointing 2022 where they lost in the Finals to the Warriors.
  • Will be led by young duo Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown looking to get over the hump in 2023.
  • Bolstered their bench in the offseason by acquiring Malcolm Brogdon and Danilo Gallinari.
  • With their Finals loss fresh in mind, are considered strong contenders again in 2023 behind elite defense and rising superstars Tatum and Brown.

No matter their current standing, anytime the two most history-laden franchises meet, the lakers vs celtics rivalry brings with it a special brand of intensity, legacy and iconic basketball. Both teams will be vying for another Finals run in 2023, potentially setting up a 13th storied chapter between these historic foes.


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