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10 Revenge Championships in NBA History

Gautam Varier
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 20 Dec 2019, 15:17 IST

The Lakers in 2010 and
and the Cavaliers in 2016 were all revenge championships.

Nothing beats the feeling of winning an NBA championship and especially if there's the revenge factor in play. It hasn't happened too often in NBA history because it's rare for two teams to face off in the Finals on multiple occasions.

When they have, however, it's resulted in some epic Finals encounters. For the purposes of this list, only those matchups would be counted where it's basically the same core group (except for one or two) facing off within a short period of time. So, the Dallas-Miami encounters of 2006 and 2011 won't be a part of it.

1958 Finals: St. Louis Hawks 4-2 Boston Celtics

Bob Pettit completes a lay-up (Image: NBA)
Bob Pettit completes a lay-up (Image: NBA)

1957 Finals: Boston Celtics 4-3 St. Louis Hawks

In 1957, the Boston Celtics and St. Louis Hawks engaged in one of the most tightly contested Finals encounters ever. Four games were decided by 2 points including Game 7 which went to Double Overtime. In a 125-123 Celtics win, Bob Pettit missed a layup at the buzzer to tie it up and the Celtics won their 1st title, launching their dynasty.

The two teams easily made it to the Finals the following year and Boston were the overwhelming favorites. After the teams split the first two games, the balance tilted as Bill Russell went down with an injury in Game 3 which Boston ended up losing.

The Celtics, however, pulled off a shock win in St. Louis but surrendered home court in the very next game. Now they faced elimination, but Russell was back to give Boston hope. He ended up having minimal impact, perhaps still bothered by the injury but Boston still hung in there.

They did, however, ultimately fall to one of the greatest performances in Finals history as Pettit scored 50 points with 19 in the 4th quarter, and grabbed 19 Rebounds as the Hawks won 110-109. He exorcised the demons of the previous Finals as the Hawks handed Boston their only Finals defeat in the Bill Russell era.

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Published 27 Mar 2018, 03:13 IST
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