Lakers-Celtics Rivalry: The 5 Most Pivotal Moments in the Last 5 Years

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Lakers-Celtics Rivalry: The 5 Most Pivotal Moments in the Last 5 Years
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It will likely take a minor miracle for the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics to renew their historic rivalry in the 2012 NBA Finals, and that little nugget of information gives this weekend's regular season a very anti-climatic feel.

For the past five seasons the regular season battles between the Lakers and Celtics have been something of a measuring point to gauge each team's readiness for the postseason and a shot at the finals.

Unfortunately, fans of both teams have probably come to the realization that barring a major personnel change a swift exit from the first or second round of the 2012 NBA playoffs is in the Lakers' and Celtics' not-too-distant future.

That doesn't mean Sunday's contest in Los Angeles will not conjure up a few wistful moments that will make fans of both teams long for 2009.

The reason the Lakers-Celtics rivalry may be the best in all of sports is because it defies geography and any conference or divisional history.

Boston and Los Angeles have established and maintained their rivalry at the highest possible level of basketball, and the shared dominance of each team throughout the years may be the NBA's most enduring legacy.

Another chapter of this rivalry appears to be coming to an end since neither team will likely reach the finals, and they almost certainly will not get there together.

I have created a slideshow that marks the five most pivotal moments in the brief resurgence of the Lakers-Celtics rivalry in the last five years, a period in which the teams met in the finals twice in 2008 and 2010.

Boston won in 2008 and Los Angeles in 2010, and both teams created another set of memories for fans to cherish. I hope you enjoy reliving a few.

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