Basketball Wiki
2008 NBA Finals
2008 NBA Finals logo
Team Coach Wins
Boston Celtics Doc Rivers 4
Los Angeles Lakers Phil Jackson 2
Dates: June 5–17
MVP: Paul Pierce
(Boston Celtics)
Hall of Famers Celtics:
Ray Allen (2018)
Kevin Garnett (2020)
Paul Pierce (2021)
Kobe Bryant (2020)
Pau Gasol (2023)
Phil Jackson (2007)
Dick Bavetta (2015)
Eastern Finals: Celtics defeated Pistons,
Western Finals: Lakers defeated Spurs,
NBA Finals

The 2008 NBA Finals were held June 5 through June 17, 2008, to decide the winner of the 2007–08 NBA season, and conclude the season's playoffs.

The Boston Celtics, top-seeded champions of the Eastern Conference, defeated the Los Angeles Lakers, top-seeded champions of the Western Conference, four games to two in a best-of-seven series. This was Boston's first title since 1986 during the Larry Bird-era and 17th overall, a record that still stands today even when the Lakers tied this record in 2020. It also marked the Celtics' ninth victory over the Lakers in the NBA Finals.

2008 marked the first time since 2000 that the top seeds from both conferences met in the Finals and the first time since 2003 that any top seeded team played in the NBA Finals. The Lakers appeared in the Finals for the first time since 2004 and a record 29th time overall. The Celtics appeared in the Finals for the first time since 1987 and second-best 20th time overall.

The 2008 Boston Celtics championship team was famously led by the organization's "Big 3" in Paul Pierce, and Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen. Prior to acquiring Allen from the Seattle SuperSonics and Garnett from the Minnesota Timberwolves in a blockbuster 7-to-1 player trade, Boston had won just 24 of its 82 games in the 2006–07 NBA regular season. The formation of the All-Star trifecta in the summer of 2007 positioned the new-look Celtics as a popular favorite to win the 2008 NBA Finals.

Going into the series, the Celtics had won the most championships of all-time with 16, and the Lakers were second with 14. The two most successful teams in NBA history looked to renew a longstanding rivalry 21 years after their last Finals meeting in 1987. They narrowly missed meeting each other in 2002, when the Lakers advanced to the Finals, but the Celtics, who led 2–1 in the Conference Finals, eventually fell to the favored New Jersey Nets 4–2. This was the 11th time the teams met in the championship round; the Celtics won eight of their previous ten Finals meetings against the Lakers, winning in 1959, 1962, 1963, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1969, and 1984; the Lakers won in 1985 and 1987.

The Celtics' 66–16 record gave them home court advantage over Los Angeles (57–25). This was the first time since 1997, when the Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz for the championship, and the only time in the 2000s decade that an Eastern Conference team had the home court advantage. This was also the first NBA Finals series since 1998 to not feature Tim Duncan (1999, 2003, 2005, 2007) or Shaquille O'Neal (2000, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006).

Rodd Houston narrated the Boston Celtics' championship season documentary on NBA Entertainment. The made-for-TV version of this documentary is narrated by Kevin Harlan.

2008 NBA Playoffs[]

Los Angeles Lakers (Western Conference Champion) Boston Celtics (Eastern Conference Champion)
57–25 (.695)

1st Pacific, 1st West, 3rd Overall

Regular season 66–16 (.805)

1st Atlantic, 1st East, 1st Overall

Defeated the (8) Denver Nuggets, 4–0 First Round Defeated the (8) Atlanta Hawks, 4–3
Defeated the (4) Utah Jazz, 4–2 Conference Semifinals Defeated the (4) Cleveland Cavaliers, 4–3
Defeated the (3) San Antonio Spurs, 4–1 Conference Finals Defeated the (2) Detroit Pistons, 4–2

Series summary[]

Game Date Home Team Result Road Team
Game 1 June 5 Boston 98–88 Los Angeles
Game 2 June 8 Boston 108–102 Los Angeles
Game 3 June 10 Los Angeles 87–81 Boston
Game 4 June 12 Los Angeles 91–97 Boston
Game 5 June 15 Los Angeles 103–98 Boston
Game 6 June 17 Boston 131–92 Los Angeles
Preceded by
NBA Finals
Succeeded by