The Celtics vs Lakers history chronicles the intense rivalry between the two National Basketball Association teams, the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers. The rivalry dates back to 1948 when teams first met and through the 2010-11 season, the teams have played over 250 times with Boston holding a slight edge in wins.
The Celtics vs Lakers rivalry began well before the Lakers found their home in Los Angeles and started when the team was in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It was during their time in Minnesota that the first Celtics vs Lakers series was played in the NBA Finals. In 1959, the Boston Celtics defeated the Minneapolis Lakers in four games to win the NBA Championship. Teams later met in the finals in 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968 and 1969, with Boston taking the title each time.
The rivalry was perhaps defined by what happened between the teams in the 1980s when the Celtics were led by NBA great Larry Bird and the Lakers relied on basketball legend Magic Johnson. This Celtics vs Lakers rivalry culminated with three trips to the NBA Finals in the 1980s. Boston took the series in 1984, while the Lakers defeated the Celtics for the title in 1985 and 1987.
After several years when neither team reached the finals, the Celtics vs Lakers history continued in the 2000s. In 2008, the Boston Celtics won their ninth championship in the head-to-head NBA Finals history against the Lakers. Los Angeles came back in 2010, defeating Boston in the final series to take the title.
Overall, through the 2010-11 NBA season, the Celtics lead the rivalry with 196 wins as compared to 152 by the Lakers. Boston also leads in regular season wins, with 153 compared to 121, and playoff wins, with 43 compared to 31.