The Celtics and Lakers, who have combined to win 32 of the 62 NBA championships, will meet for the title for 12th time, with Boston owning a 9-2 edge.
With so much history between the teams, we thought it would be useful to put all of the historical information, video and features we have at our disposal in one place. As the week goes on, we'll update this spot frequently with more information. Enjoy ...
SERIES BY SERIES REVIEW
Click on each link for an ESPNDB review of each series and each game, which includes stats, photos, recaps game audio and video and interviews with some of those involved.
-- 1959: Celtics 4, Lakers 0: The Boston Celtics defeated the Minneapolis Lakers four games to none in the best-of-seven NBA Finals series to conclude the 1958-59 season. The victory gave the Celtics their second NBA championship and was the first of eight consecutive championships.
The Lakers made their sixth appearance in the NBA Finals in 1959. It was the first time they lost a NBA Finals series. This was also the last Finals appearance for the team before moving to Los Angeles.
The Celtics had home-court advantage for the Finals, which ended in a sweep for the first time in league history. The Celtics also won all nine regular-season meetings between the teams in 1958-59.
-- 1962: Celtics 4, Lakers 3: The Boston Celtics and Los Angeles Lakers played a classic series, with the Celtics winning their fourth consecutive championship.
Four of the seven games were decided by single figures. The deciding game was an overtime thriller.
It was the first Finals appearance by the Los Angeles version of the Lakers. The franchise won four championships while in Minneapolis.
Bill Russell set a seven-game Finals record with 189 rebounds.
-- 1963: Celtics 4, Lakers 2: The Boston Celtics extended their championship streak to five straight years. For the second consecutive season, the Los Angeles Lakers were on the losing end of a competitive series. While the 1962 Finals went the distance, Boston closed this one out on the road in Game 6.
This series was very close, with five of the six games decided by 7 points or fewer. It again featured a bevy of stars, including Elgin Baylor, Jerry West, Bill Russell and rookie John Havlicek. It also included Bob Cousy, who announced he would retire after this series.
Both teams reached the Finals after going seven games in their respective division finals.
-- 1965: Celtics 4, Lakers 1: The Boston Celtics made it seven straight NBA championships by wiping out the Los Angeles Lakers in five games. The Celtics were fortunate to make the Finals, beating Philadelphia by one point in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference finals series.
Just like the 1963 Finals, this series featured Jerry West against Bill Russell and his veteran defending champions. Unlike 1963, Elgin Baylor was not a factor for the Lakers. This time around, Boston set the tone early with a pair of outstanding offensive performances.
-- 1966: Celtics 4, Lakers 3: This marked the end of the greatest run in professional sports, with the Boston Celtics winning their record eighth consecutive championship, defeating the Los Angeles Lakers four games to two.
The Lakers almost blew a 3-1 series lead in the Western Conference Finals before winning Game 7 against St. Louis. Los Angeles won Game 1 of the Finals in Boston but could not keep its momentum.
Los Angeles had Elgin Baylor for the 1966 Finals; he was injured and sidelined the prior championship series.
-- 1968: Celtics 4, Lakers 2: The Celtics returned to the championship arena, knocking off the rival Lakers in six games. With Boston coming off a tough seven-game series against Philadelphia, the expectations favored the well-rested Lakers. Los Angeles had lots of time off before this series because it swept San Francisco in the conference finals. Boston won its 10th NBA championship and first under the tutelage of coach Bill Russell.
-- 1969: Celtics 4, Lakers 3: The Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers four games to three in the best-of-seven NBA Finals series to conclude the 1968-69 NBA season. The victory gave the Celtics their second consecutive NBA championship and 11th in the past 13th seasons.
This was the seventh meeting between the Lakers and the Celtics in the NBA Finals, with the Celtics having won all of them, including in both 1968 and 1969.
Jerry West of the Lakers won the first NBA Finals MVP Award. As of 2008, this is the only time the award has gone to a player on the losing team.
The Lakers had home-court advantage for the Finals, which were played under the 2-2-1-1-1 format. The Lakers won four of the six regular-season meetings between the teams in the 1968-69 season.
-- 1984: Celtics 4, Lakers 3: The Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers four games to three in the best-of-seven NBA Finals series to conclude the 1983-84 NBA season. The victory gave the Celtics their 15th NBA championship and second in the last four seasons.
The Lakers were making their third consecutive appearance in the NBA Finals, having won in 1982 and lost in 1983. This was the eighth meeting between the Celtics and the Lakers in the NBA Finals, with Boston having won the previous seven. It was the first time the Lakers and Celtics met in the postseason since 1969.
Larry Bird won NBA Finals MVP honors, becoming the fourth different Celtics player to win the award, joining Cedric Maxwell, Jo Jo White and John Havlicek. (The Finals MVP award was not given out until 1969, meaning there was no MVP named for the Celtics' first 10 championships.)
The Celtics had home-court advantage for the Finals, which were played under the 2-2-1-1-1 format for the last time. This was the first postseason under the new 16-team format, which required that each team win three series to reach the NBA Finals. The Lakers swept the two regular-season meetings between the two teams in the 1983-84 season.
-- 1985: Lakers 4, Celtics 2: The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics four games to two in the best-of-seven NBA Finals series to conclude the 1984-85 NBA season. The victory gave the Lakers their ninth NBA championship and third in the last six seasons.
The Celtics entered the series as the defending champions, having defeated the Lakers in the 1984 Finals. This was the ninth meeting between the Celtics and the Lakers in the NBA Finals, with Boston having won the previous eight. After the series, Lakers owner Jerry Buss famously said, "It can never be said again that the Lakers have never beaten the Celtics."
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won NBA Finals MVP honors, the second time in his career he earned the award. At the time, he was just the third player to win the award multiple times, joining Magic Johnson and Willis Reed. As of 2008, Abdul-Jabbar, who also won in 1971 with the Milwaukee Bucks, is the only player to win the award with multiple teams.
The Celtics had home-court advantage for the Finals, which were played under the 2-3-2 format after previous series had used the 2-2-1-1-1 format. This reduced the amount of travel necessary for the series. The two teams split their regular-season meetings in 1984-85, with each team winning at home.
-- 1987: Lakers 4, Celtics 2: The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Boston Celtics four games to two in the best-of-seven NBA Finals series to conclude the 1986-87 season. It was the first of two consecutive championships for the Lakers.
This was the 10th all-time meeting between the Lakers and Celtics in the NBA Finals. The two teams had met twice in the previous three seasons but would not meet again in the finals until 2008.
Magic Johnson won the NBA Finals MVP award, the last of the three times he would win the award. At the time, Johnson was the only player to win three Finals MVPs, though he was later joined by Michael Jordan (6), Shaquille O'Neal and Tim Duncan.
The Lakers had home-court advantage for the finals, and they swept the two regular-season meetings between the teams.
-- 2008: Celtics 4, Lakers 2: The Boston Celtics defeated the Los Angeles Lakers four games to two in the best-of-seven NBA Finals series to conclude the 2007-08 NBA season. The victory gave Boston its 17th NBA Championship and first since 1986.
This series marked the 11th time the Celtics and Lakers met in the NBA Finals. The Celtics won the first eight Finals series between the teams, but the Lakers won in both 1985 and 1987.
The Celtics had home-court advantage for the Finals, by virtue of their 66-16 regular-season record. Boston won both of the regular-season meetings with the Lakers.
Top 10 lists, highlights, interviews ... we're pulling out all the stops on Celtics-Lakers through the years: