#TBT – Boston Celtics 1962 Championship

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By the time the 1962 championship came around the entire NBA knew that they were simply living in the Boston Celtics‘ world. The Celtics were fresh off of a three peat and they were not going to stop there.

This may have been one of this eras Celtics’ most challenging playoff runs. The Celtics needed 7 games to win both the division finals and the NBA finals and that finals victory was one of the greater moments in the history of the league’s greatest and longest lasting rivalry.

Before the Celtics could battle for yet another championship, they first had to get through the Philadelphia Warriors. This series was one of the closer playoff series this Celtics era faced as they had a point differential of just 5.5.

The two teams traded some lopsided victories but it really was back and forth. Initially, it appeared as though the Celtics were going to run away with the series as they came out with a 28 point victory. Unfortunately, the Warriors had an immediate response. In fact, the Warriors always had a response as the Celtics never managed to win two games in a row.

Things got very shaky for the Celtics in game six, where the Warriors had their largest victory, 109-99. Unfortunately for the Warriors, they had to go back into Boston and beating that Celtics team at home in a game 7 remains the single most impossible task in the NBA.

Oct 22, 2014; Boston, MA, USA; An overall view of the stadium as the Boston Celtics take on the Brooklyn Nets in the second half at TD Garden. The Celtics defeated the Nets 100-86. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The warriors did not go down without a fight as the Celtics had to sneak away with just a two point victory. The Celtics needed a minor fourth quarter comeback as they went into the frame down by one and they came out with a two point win.

As close as the first series was, the Lakers gave them an even better fight. The Celtics had to fight through some of the toughest adversity that squad faced. After the Celtics once again took game one, the Lakers took command of the series. They fought for a 2-1 series lead and then a 3-2 series lead. The Celtics had to go back into LA for an elimination game 6. Hall of famer Sam Jones had arguably the most important game of his career as his 35 points propelled the Celtics to a 14 point victory.

Then, for the second series in a row, the Celtics were back in Boston for a winner take all game seven. And once again it was a heart wrenching 2 point victory. The Celtics would not be denied and Sam Jones once again stepped up when they needed it most, scoring 27 points. However, Jones was still not the top guy as Bill Russell willed the Celtics to a victory, posting a team high 30 points. The Celtics had to fight through two tremendous performances by the Lakers’ West and Baylor who posted 35 and 41 points.

The Celtics were being challenged and they certainly had to earn their fourth straight championship victory but the results were the same and the Boston Celtics looked as unbeatable as ever. You knew they could dominate their opponents and now you knew they could take the hard fought victories and there was absolutely no doubt that the single most daunting task in basketball was having to go into Boston for a game 7.

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