1985 NBA Finals - Lakers Defeat Celtics
The 1985 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the 1984–85 NBA season.
The Boston Celtics were looking to repeat as NBA Champions for the first time since the 1968-69 NBA season. The Celtics had homecourt advantage for the second year in a row as they finished the regular season with a 63-19 record while the Los Angeles Lakers compiled a 62-20 record. The Lakers looked to bounce back from the previous year's painful loss to the Celtics in the NBA Finals. For the first time, the Finals went to a 2-3-2 format with Games 1 and 2 in Boston while the next three games were in Los Angeles. The final two games of the series would be played in Boston, if required. This change of format came after David Stern had a conversation with Celtics legend Red Auerbach in 1984, who didn't like the frequent traveling between games.
The Los Angeles Lakers defeated the Celtics four games to two to defeat the Celtics for the first time in Laker history in the NBA Finals.
It would mark the last time the NBA World Championship Series branding would be in use as the NBA Finals branding would replace it the next season.
The video documentary Return to Glory recaps the 1985 NBA Playoff action. It would be the last documentary until 1989 narrated by Dick Stockton.
Television: CBS - Announcers: Brent Musburger (host), Dick Stockton (play-by-play), Tom Heinsohn (color commentatory), Pat O'Brien (Lakers' sideline), and Lesley Visser (Celtics' sideline).
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.