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Boston Celtics vs. Los Angeles Lakers: A rivalry revamped

The Pro Side

By Dan Agabiti
On February 2, 2011

Out of the 64 NBA Finals that have been played, the Celtics or the Lakers have won 33 of them. They are the most recognizable franchises in the league and in the past three years, the passion in their matchups for more than 20 years has returned.

Since 1948, the two teams have met in the regular season 273 times, with the Celtics leading the series 153-120. In the 12 times they have played against one another for an NBA title, the Celtics have dominated the series 9-3. In the 1980s, these two teams owned the league's landscape, making it only natural that they would clash in fierce battles for league supremacy. The Celtics had Larry Bird and the Lakers had Magic Johnson and the result was a clash of giants.

In the early 2000s, the Lakers returned to prominence, winning three titles in a row while the Celtics remained in mediocre obscurity. Then the Celtics returned, signing Ray Allen and Kevin Garnett en route to a 2008 NBA title over who else, but the Lakers.

They met Sunday night in a repeat of last year's NBA Finals, which the Lakers won. The Celtics got some payback by winning in Los Angeles 109-96. Kobe Bryant scored 41 points, but it was not enough to stop the offensive onslaught brought on by the Celtics. Six Celtics players scored in the double-figures and Rajon Rondo recorded 16 assists. Kevin Garnett added a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds.

The Celtics were more efficient in their shooting than the Lakers were. They shot just over 60 percent from the field while the Lakers only shot around 44 percent. Boston also did a better job of spreading the ball around, beating the Lakers in assists 34-10.

They will meet again Thursday, Feb. 10 at the TD Bank North Garden in Boston on TNT. 

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