Familiar Foes Fight for Fame and Fortune in Fantastic Finals

SportsLifer@sportsliferCorrespondent IIJune 2, 2010

Heated Rivalries: They start ‘em off young in Los Angeles…and in Boston too.

When the Boston Celtics and the Los Angeles Lakers tip off tomorrow night, it will mark the 12th team these two old rivals have met for the NBA championship.

The Celtics have won nine of the previous 11 meetings. The first one took place in 1959, when the Lakers called Minneapolis home. Boston won the first eight meetings before Los Angeles won in 1985 and 1987.

No other professional championship round series has seen a dozen meetings between the same two teams.

In baseball for instance, the Yankees and the Dodgers have met a record 11 times in the World Series.  All 11 of those meetings took place in a 40-year span between 1941 and 1981.

Yankees Dominate Dodgers, Giants
All told, the Yankees were 6-1 against the Brooklyn Dodgers, and split four World Series with the Los Angeles variety.

Next in line, the Yankees faced the Giants seven times in the World Series. The Giants beat the Yankees in 1921 and 1922 in a pair of all New York Series; the Yankees won the next five, including their first title in 1923 and the last meeting, with the San Francisco Giants, in 1962.

The New York Giants and the Chicago Bears met a record six times for the NFL championship, the last time in 1963. The Bears won four of those six meetings, including the first pro football championship game in 1933.

The most prolific Super Bowl matchup is Pittsburgh vs. Dallas, with the Steelers beating the Cowboys twice in three tries.

In the NHL, Montreal-Boston and Toronto-Detroit have each clashed seven times in the Stanley Cup finals. The Canadiens beat the Bruins seven straight times from 1930 to 1978, while the Maple Leafs hold a 6-1 edge on the Red Wings in finals staged between 1936 and 1964.

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