Have the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors Ever Met in the NBA Finals?

Klay Thompson pulls up to shoot against Jaylen Brown.
Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors pulls up to shoot the ball against Jaylen Brown of the Boston Celtics | Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images

The Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors are two of just four NBA franchises with at least six championships in their history. Of course, the Celtics are tied with the Los Angeles Lakers at the top with 17 championships apiece, but the Warriors have dominated the last decade with four titles since 2015.

We’re one Boston win away from the epic NBA Finals duel, so would this be the first matchup between the two heavyweights in the championship series?

The Celtics and Warriors have met once in the NBA Finals

The Celtics and Warriors are two of the most successful franchises in NBA history, but they’ve only ever met in the NBA Finals one time. Back in 1964, Wilt Chamberlain and the San Francisco Warriors faced off against Bill Russell and the Celtics, with Boston taking care of business in five games to secure its sixth title in a row.

Here’s how the games shook out:

Game 1: Celtics 108, Warriors 96

It was a relatively stress-free win for the Celtics in Game 1. Boston took a 57-39 lead into the halftime locker room and cruised to a 12-point victory in the end. Chamberlain was held in check with just 22 points on 9-of-20 shooting, while Sam Jones and John Havlicek poured in 28 points apiece to power the Celtics to an early lead in the series.

Game 2: Celtics 124, Warriors 101

Chamberlain bounced back in Game 2 to put up 32 points and 25 rebounds for the Warriors, but the Celtics were again too much to handle on the offensive end. Boston shot 47.5% from the field and scored a series-high 124 points to rout the Warriors by 23. Jones again paced the Celtics in scoring with 31 points on 12-of-18 from the field.

Game 3: Warriors 115, Celtics 91

After losing the first two games of the series by comfortable margins, San Francisco notched a crucial win in Game 3 behind a 35-point, 25-rebound performance from Chamberlain. The Warriors shot 53.4% from the field as a team, held Jones to just six points, and cruised to a 24-point victory. It was the only win they would muster in the Finals, though.

Game 4: Celtics 98, Warriors 95

Finally, a close game. The Celtics carried a 12-point lead into the fourth quarter of Game 4, but the Warriors fought back and nearly stole a win to tie the series at 2-2. Tom Heinsohn was the hero of the game with 25 points and 11 rebounds, while Chamberlain’s 27 points and 38 rebounds (yes, 38) weren’t enough in the end.

Game 5: Celtics 105, Warriors 99

The Warriors put up a good fight in Game 5, but a balanced scoring attack from the Celtics was enough to outduel Chamberlain’s 30 points and 27 boards. Led by Jones’ 18, six Boston players finished the game with double-digit points.

Series leaders

Points per game: Wilt Chamberlain (29.2)
Rebounds per game: Wilt Chamberlain (27.2)
Assists per game: K.C. Jones (6.6)

All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.

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