The first NBA Finals match-up between the two teams was in 1959 when the Boston Celtics swept the then Minneapolis Lakers for their first of 8 straight titles. However the rivalry truly originated in the 1960s, when the Celtics defeated the Lakers six times in eight years (1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, and 1969) to claim the championship, and featured greats such as Bill Russell and Bob Cousy for Boston and Elgin Baylor and Jerry West for Los Angeles. In three of those NBA Finals ('62, '66, and '69), the series went to seven games, with the Celtics winning each time.

The rivalry continued with renewed fervor in the 1980s when both teams were strong, and was personified as Larry Bird (Boston) vs. Magic Johnson (Los Angeles). During this period, this rivalry took on many dimensions, such as East Coast vs. West Coast, Working class grit vs. Hollywood glitz, old tradition vs. air-conditioned luxury, and some believe "white vs. black" (the Celtics teams of the 1980s were predominantly composed of Caucasian players, while those of Los Angeles were mostly African American). Additionally, prior to the 1980s, the NBA had been struggling financially, with low attendance and television ratings. The battles between the two teams contributed mightily to the success of the league.

And now, Kobe, Pau, Lamar and the Lakers against Paul, Kevin, Ray and the Celtics bring back that rivalry- with the exception of the "black vs. white" thing of course. Last night the Celtics wins it with emotion and with the home crowd behind them and from the emotion of Paul Pierce coming back to the game after being carried off the court after he and teammate Kendrick Perkins collided. Game 1 of the 2008 finals belongs to the Celtics, 98-88.

The Lakers and the Celtics have met a total of 11 times in the NBA finals, with Boston winning the first eight meetings, and Los Angeles the next two. The outcome of the 11th meeting is......??

Year Champion Series Opponent
1959 Boston Celtics 4–0 Minneapolis Lakers
1962 Boston Celtics 4–3 Los Angeles Lakers
1963 Boston Celtics 4–2 Los Angeles Lakers
1965 Boston Celtics 4–1 Los Angeles Lakers
1966 Boston Celtics 4–3 Los Angeles Lakers
1968 Boston Celtics 4–2 Los Angeles Lakers
1969 Boston Celtics 4–3 Los Angeles Lakers
1984 Boston Celtics 4–3 Los Angeles Lakers
1985 Los Angeles Lakers 4–2 Boston Celtics
1987 Los Angeles Lakers 4–2 Boston Celtics
2008 Boston Celtics 1–0 Los Angeles Lakers


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