Stephen Curry’s Warriors join Magic Johnson’s Lakers in unique feat vs Celtics

The Warriors are a legitimate dynasty. In eight seasons, they six championship appearances and four trophies. As they celebrate one of the greatest runs in NBA history, their fans throng the Chase Center in San Francisco. And now we’re wondering if they’ll be able to repeat the feat in 2022-2023. The core is still there – perhaps not as strong as before, but the sum of their parts is still formidable. Something tells me we won’t be able to get rid of these people easily.

However, they’re not the only team that has managed to beat the Celtics at Boston in the 6th game of the NBA finals. That feat also belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers, back when Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar won the 1987 finals.

When the Lakers made history

The Los Angeles Lakers won their 10th NBA championship on June 14, 1987, when they defeated the Boston Celtics in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.

In the 1980s, the Lakers and Celtics dominated the NBA, with the Lakers and Celtics deciding the championship in all but two seasons. After Los Angeles was upset in the previous postseason, losing to the Houston Rockets in the Western Conference Finals, it was Boston’s turn to defend the title in 1986-87.

With 65 victories, the Purple and Gold finished the regular season with their second-best record of all time. Magic Johnson took charge of the offense, leading Los Angeles in points and assists on his way to winning his first NBA MVP award. Johnson had the highest dimes average in the league that year.

In addition, Michael Cooper won the first and only Defensive Player of the Year award in the 1986-87 season.

But no single accomplishment could have mattered more than defeating the Celtics in the Finals for the second time, after doing so for the first time two years prior, after eight consecutive Finals losses to the C’s.

In Game 5, Danny Ainge went off, hitting five 3-pointers on six attempts to lead the Celtics to a 123-108 victory and a 3-2 series lead. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, 40, showed up for Game 6 with a shaved head, indicating his desire to end the Finals that day.

The Lakers returned to the locker room at halftime with a 56-51 deficit after a shaky first quarter. After the break, however, L.A.’s Johnson and James Worthy quickly reclaimed the lead, hurting Boston’s transition.

In the third quarter, the Purple and Gold outscored the Celtics 30-12, effectively sealing their Finals victory. Abdul-Jabbar led the team with 32 points, while Johnson led the team with 19 assists.

Larry Bird famously said after the game that Johnson was the best player he had ever seen. In addition, the Lakers guard was named NBA Finals MVP for the third and final time.

After seeing the parallels between these two teams, it’s no surprise that Magic Johnson himself was rooting for Curry and the Warriors, and even saying that he should be the MVP this season. And he was.