1966 NBA Finals
Bill Russell and Red Auerbach 1966.jpeg
Bill Russell and Red Auerbach after winning their eighth consecutive NBA title
Boston Celtics Red Auerbach 4
Los Angeles Lakers Fred Schaus 3
DatesApril 17–28
Hall of FamersCeltics:
John Havlicek (1984)
K. C. Jones (1989)
Sam Jones (1984)
Bill Russell (1975)
Elgin Baylor (1977)
Gail Goodrich (1996)
Jerry West (1980)
Mendy Rudolph (2007)
Earl Strom (1995)
Eastern FinalsCeltics defeated 76ers, 4–1
Western FinalsLakers defeated Hawks, 4–3
NBA Finals

The 1966 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the 1966 NBA Playoffs, which concluded the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1965–66 season. The Eastern Division champion Boston Celtics faced the Western Division champion Los Angeles Lakers in a best-of-seven series that the Celtics won 4 games to 3. For the Celtics this was their tenth straight finals appearance, which tied a North American professional sports record set by the National Hockey League's Montreal Canadiens from 1951 to 1960, and the National Football League's Cleveland Browns from 1946 to 1955.

Thus Boston won its eighth consecutive league title, which no other team has achieved in North American professional sports competition. Before Game 2, after the Los Angeles Lakers' comeback overtime win in Game 1, Red Auerbach, who had challenged the entire league to topple the Celtics from their reign by announcing he would retire after 1965–1966 before the season had started (thus giving his detractors "one last shot" at him), announced Bill Russell as the Celtics' coach for 1966–1967 and beyond. He would be the first African-American to coach in the NBA. Laker coach Fred Schaus privately fumed that Auerbach's hiring had taken away all of the accolades his Lakers should have received following their tremendous Game 1 win. The Celtics won the next three games and looked ready to close out L.A. in Game 5. However, the Lakers won the next two games, setting the stage for another classic Game 7 in the Boston Garden. The Celtics raced out to a huge lead, and held off a late Los Angeles rally to capture the NBA title and send Red Auerbach out a champion.

This was the last NBA championship series until 2016 in which a team trailing 3 games to 1 rallied to force a Game 7.

Series summary

Game Date Home team Result Road team
Game 1 April 17 Boston Celtics 129–133 (OT) (0–1) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 2 April 19 Boston Celtics 129–109 (1–1) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 3 April 20 Los Angeles Lakers 106–120 (1–2) Boston Celtics
Game 4 April 22 Los Angeles Lakers 117–122 (1–3) Boston Celtics
Game 5 April 24 Boston Celtics 117–121 (3–2) Los Angeles Lakers
Game 6 April 26 Los Angeles Lakers 123–115 (3–3) Boston Celtics
Game 7 April 28 Boston Celtics 95–93 (4–3) Los Angeles Lakers

Celtics win series 4–3

Team rosters

Boston Celtics

Boston Celtics 1965–66 roster
Players Coaches
Pos. # Nat. Name Ht. Wt. From
SG 21 United States Bonham, Ron 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 192 lb (87 kg) Cincinnati
C 11 United States Counts, Mel 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m) 230 lb (104 kg) Oregon State
G/F 28 United States Green, Si 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) 185 lb (84 kg) Duquesne
G/F 17 United States Havlicek, John 6 ft 5 in (1.96 m) 203 lb (92 kg) Ohio State
PG 25 United States Jones, K. C. 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m) 200 lb (91 kg) San Francisco
SG 24 United States Jones, Sam 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m) 198 lb (90 kg) North Carolina Central
SF 12 United States Naulls, Willie 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 225 lb (102 kg) UCLA
F 19 United States Nelson, Don 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Iowa
C 6 United States Russell, Bill 6 ft 9 in (2.06 m) 215 lb (98 kg) San Francisco
SF 16 United States Sanders, Satch 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 210 lb (95 kg) NYU
PF 18 United States Sauldsberry, Woody 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m) 220 lb (100 kg) Texas Southern
C/G 20 United States Siegfried, Larry 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) 190 lb (86 kg) Ohio State
C 5 United States Thompson, John 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m) 225 lb (102 kg) Providence
F 12 United States Watts, Ron 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m) 210 lb (95 kg) Wake Forest
Head coach

  • (C) Team captain
  • (DP) Unsigned draft pick
  • (FA) Free agent
  • (S) Suspended
  • Injured Injured

Los Angeles Lakers

This article does not cite any sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.Find sources: "1966 NBA Finals" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · JSTOR (April 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)

See also