After ten seasons, the Los Angeles Lakers are back in an NBA Finals. One of the NBA’s most historic teams the Los Angeles Lakers have contested the NBA Finals the most times, with 32 appearances. They have been to a Finals in every decade since the 1940s.
The Lakers have won 17 titles in their long history, winning a three-peat in Minneapolis from 1952 to 1954, and another in Los Angeles from 2000 to 2002. They have defeated 9 franchises to win their 17 crowns and lost to only five. They are also one of the five teams to play the NBA Finals on four consecutive occasions.
The Lakers without question have more history in the Finals than the Heat, the team they recently beat to clinch their 17th NBA Championship. Here is how the Lakers faired in each Finals they have played!
The Los Angeles Lakers NBA Finals history
1949 – Back when they were the Minneapolis Lakers they would defeat the Capitols in 6 Games to claim their first championship in the old BAA.
1950 – In 1950, now officially the NBA, the Minneapolis Lakers would defeat the Syracuse Nationals 4-2 in the series to claim their second title. Game 1 had an emotional ending when Bob Harrison hits the game-winning shot from 40 feet at the buzzer.
1952 – Two years after their second title the Minneapolis Lakers would claim their third in a seven-game thriller against New York Knicks.
1953 – One year later it was the same final only a different outcome… the Lakers won, but clobbered the Knicks in 5 games instead of seven. It was the second title in a row for the Lakers.
1954 –The threepeat was complete when the Minneapolis Lakers defeated the Syracuse Nationals in seven games to claim their third title in a row and fifth title overall.
1959 – The Lakers would return to the finals four years later but would lose to the Boston Celtics in a 4 game sweep. It was the first Finals the Lakers had lost.
1962 – Now known as the Los Angeles Lakers, it was again the Celtics and the Lakers in a seven-game series, this time the Celtics would win game seven in an emotional overtime match when Frank Selvy misses the championship-winning shot in regulation.
1963 – The Celtics continue to have the Lakers number winning in six games and giving the Lakers their third Finals defeat in five years.
1965 – The rivalry could not get more heated as the Celtics again go 4-1 and defeat the Lakers in the 65 Finals.
1966 – One year later the Lakers would give it all they had to go seven games against the Celtics, but it wasn’t enough, Boston would win Game 7 95-93!
1968 – The Lakers wanted to get the monkey off their back against the Celtics in 1968, but the weight of the world came crashing down as the Celtics again defeat Los Angeles in 6 games.
1969 – A year later the Lakers jump out to a 2-0 series advantage against their mortal enemy the Celtics. It was not enough as the Celtics became the first NBA team to come back from 0-2 down and take the series in the seventh game.
1970 –The Lakers returned for their third final in a row to lose yet another seven-game thriller against the New York Knicks.
1972 – After years of frustration and defeats, the Lakers took it to the Knicks and won their sixth NBA title. It was the first title since moving to L.A.
1973 – A year later the Lakers and Knicks went at it again but this time the Knicks got revenge and took the series in 5 games. It was Wilt Chamberlain's final NBA game.
1980 – Seven years later a Laker team that had Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul –Jabbar defeat the Philadelphia 76ers in 6 games to capture the championship, the teams first since 1972.
1982 – Eight titles, the Lakers claim their eighth title in a 6-game series against the 76ers. Evenly matched and high scoring the Lakers won Game 6 114 -104.
1983 – The Lakers would be swept in four games by the Philadelphia 76ers.
1984 –Once again an old enemy, the Boston Celtics would defeat the Lakers in the team's third finals in a row. The series went seven games, was high scoring, and the Celtics took game seven 111-102.
1985 – The Lakers would face the Celtics again and this time it was L.A. who would take the series to win their ninth title. The Lakers became the first road team to win an NBA title in the Boston Garden.
1987 – The Lakers would again defeat the Boston Celtics in a six-game series. The series is famous for Magic Johnson’s baby hook play with 2 seconds left in Game 4.
1988 – The start of the Pistons – Lakers duels went to the Lakers in seven games. Game six was highlighted by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar who hit the game-winning free throws with 14 seconds left.
1989 – The Pistons would sweep the Lakers in 4 games to win the series. It was the Lakers third trip to the finals in a row and their eighth-finals in the decade.
1991 – The end of one dynasty was the beginning of another. The Bulls, with Michael Jordan, defeated the Lakers in 5 games.
2000 – The twelfth Lakers championship would come in a six-game thriller against the Pacers. It was a Kobe Bryant’s first NBA title.
2001 – The Lakers would repeat one year later and would defeat the outmatched 76ers in 5 games to claim their second title in the new decade.
2002 – Threepeat and clean sweep! The Lakers make it three in a row sweeping the Nets in 4 games to win their 14th title.
2004 – An old classic the Lakers and Pistons went toe to toe but the Pistons would beat the Lakers in 5 games.
2008 – The Celtics would face the Lakers again since 1987 and would win the series in 6 games winning their seventeenth title.
2009 – The Lakers would capture their fifteenth crown in a 5-game series against the Orlando Magic. Kobe Bryant had 31,32,30 points in games 3,4,5 respectively.
2010 – Old foes and Kobe Bryant’s last NBA title. The Lakers would defeat the Boston Celtics in a classic seven-game series. It was the Lakers last trip to the Finals and last championship to date.
2020 – The Lakers capped off their season in a high note by beating the Miami Heat at the Disney campus in Orlando. Against all odds and even a pandemic, LeBron James and Anthony Davis pulled it off in just 6 games.