1966 NBA Finals

The 1966 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the 1966 NBA Playoffs, which concluded the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1965–66 season. The Eastern Division champion Boston Celtics faced the Western Division champion Los Angeles Lakers in a best-of-seven series that the Celtics won 4 games to 3. For the Celtics this was their tenth straight finals appearance, which tied a North American professional sports record set by the National Hockey League's Montreal Canadiens from 1951 to 1960, and the National Football League's Cleveland Browns from 1946 to 1955.

1966 NBA Finals
Bill Russell and Red Auerbach 1966.jpeg
Bill Russell and Red Auerbach after winning their eighth consecutive NBA title
Boston Celtics Red Auerbach 4
Los Angeles Lakers Fred Schaus 3
DatesApril 17–28
Hall of FamersBoston Celtics
Red Auerbach (as a coach)
K.C. Jones
Sam Jones
John Havlicek
Don Nelson (as a coach)
Satch Sanders
Bill Russell
John Thompson (as a coach)
Los Angeles Lakers
Elgin Baylor
Jerry West
Gail Goodrich
Mendy Rudolph
Earl Strom
Eastern FinalsCeltics defeat 76ers, 4–1
Western FinalsLakers defeat Hawks, 4–3
NBA Finals

Thus Boston won its eighth consecutive league title, which no other team has achieved in North American professional sports competition. Before Game 2, after the Los Angeles Lakers' comeback overtime win in Game 1, Red Auerbach, who had challenged the entire league to topple the Celtics from their reign by announcing he would retire after 1965–1966 before the season had started (thus giving his detractors "one last shot" at him), announced Bill Russell as the Celtics' coach for 1966–1967 and beyond. He would be the first African-American to coach in the NBA. Laker coach Fred Schaus privately fumed that Auerbach's hiring had taken away all of the accolades his Lakers should have received following their tremendous Game 1 win. The Celtics won the next three games and looked ready to close out L.A. in Game 5. However, the Lakers won the next two games, setting the stage for another classic Game 7 in the Boston Garden. The Celtics raced out to a huge lead, and held off a late Los Angeles rally to capture the NBA title and send Red Auerbach out a champion.

This was the last NBA championship series until 2016 in which a team trailing 3 games to 1 rallied to force a Game 7.

Series summaryEdit

Game Date Home Team Result Road Team
Game 1 April 17 (Sun) Boston Celtics 129–133 (OT) (0–1) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 2 April 19 (Tue) Boston Celtics 129–109 (1–1) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 3 April 20 (Wed) Los Angeles Lakers 106–120 (1–2) Boston Celtics
Game 4 April 22 (Fri) Los Angeles Lakers 117–122 (1–3) Boston Celtics
Game 5 April 24 (Sun) Boston Celtics 117–121 (3–2) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 6 April 26 (Tue) Los Angeles Lakers 123–115 (3–3) Boston Celtics
Game 7 April 28 (Thu) Boston Celtics 95–93 (4–3) Los Angeles Lakers

Celtics win series 4–3

Team rostersEdit

Boston CelticsEdit

Los Angeles LakersEdit

See alsoEdit

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