Celtics And Sixers Have Game 7 History

PHILADELPHIA — As the Philadelphia 76ers were preparing for Game 6 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against the Boston Celtics, head coach Doug Collins showed them film of the 1982 conference finals series between the two teams.

The Sixers actually lost Game 6 at home in ’82. In fact, they were up 3-1 in the series and dropped two straight and it was the second straight year they had done that. In 1981, the Celtics came back from a 3-1 deficit in the conference finals, won by a point in Game 7, and went on to win a championship.

So as the Sixers were heading back to Boston for Game 7 in ’82, they were getting trashed by the Philly fans and media. And few believed they could win a Game 7 in the Boston Garden.

But they did. Andrew Toney earned his “Boston Strangler” nickname with 34 points, the Sixers won Game 7 by 14, and the “Beat L.A.!” chant was born.

So Collins used that tape as motivation for his team, asking them, “How bad do we want to get back to Boston and Game 7, when all the odds say that you’re not going to win a Game 7?”

Yes, the odds seem to be stacked against Philly. There have been 108 Game 7s in NBA history, and the home team has won 87 (80 percent) of them. Furthermore, the team that has won Game 6 to force Game 7 has only won the series 35 times (32 percent).

This will be the seventh Game 7 between the Celtics and Sixers, including one in 1959, when the Sixers were the Syracuse Nationals. Boston has won four of the previous six, but the last Game 7 between these two teams was that Philly win 30 years ago.

Celtics-Sixers Game 7s

Year Round Home PTS Away PTS
1982 Conf. finals Boston 106 Philadelphia 120
1981 Conf. finals Boston 91 Philadelphia 90
1977 Conf. semis Philadelphia 83 Boston 77
1968 Div. finals Philadelphia 96 Boston 100
1965 Div. finals Boston 110 Philadelphia 109
1959 Div. finals Boston 130 Syracuse 125

Five of the six winners above went on to win the next round, with the lone exception being those ’82 Sixers. In four of the five cases, that next round was The Finals. The ’77 Sixers went on to beat the Rockets in the conference finals, but then lose to the Blazers 4-2 in The Finals.

Of course, neither Andrew Toney nor Larry Bird nor Bill Russell will have anything to do with this Game 7. This is the sixth Game 7 in the last five years for the current Boston core, and they’re 3-2 in the previous five, 3-1 at home. The lone home loss came in the 2009 Eastern Conference semifinals against Orlando, with Kevin Garnett out with a knee injury. The other loss came in L.A. in the 2010 Finals, with Kendrick Perkins out.

This time, the Celtics are missing Avery Bradley. And with the way this series has gone so far, you never know what’s going to happen. Each team has a small margin of error, and one scoring drought may just determine the game.

And in case you were wondering, the record for fewest total points in a Game 7 in the shot clock era is 140, set when the Pistons beat the Cavs 79-61 in the 2006 Eastern Conference semifinals. Let’s hope these teams don’t threaten that record on Saturday (8 p.m. ET, ABC).


  1. kagwang says:

    Ive rather want to see the battle between KG and Timmy in the finals…. Go Celtics

  2. James- Wade duo says:

    I love the Heat but i agree that OKC is a crazy unstoppable team as well

  3. James- Wade duo says:

    The heat are taking it this year. James and Dwade are unstoppable on the court . If u forgot. Watch games 5 and 6 against the pacers .

  4. Ms Mary says:

    I am very nervous about this game. I hope the 6er’s win tonight!!!!!
    GO SIXER’s!!! You can do it!!!!

  5. Mohcel says:

    I am very nervous about this game. Hope Boston will win this game. 1,2,3…BUTTUU!!!!! Celtics Hoorahh!!

  6. Srivera says:

    Go, Celtics!!!!!!!
    You have chance to beat Miami.

  7. the Celtics will win it ALL

  8. Law064 says:

    Yeah people saying that either team won’t beat the heat better wake up. The Pacers had a great chance but the went away from the post. David West played like a 2 year guy. He was supposed to destroy Battier in the post. Without Bosh the Heat will have a hard time vs Boston. Philly could (I said could) beat Miami but they seem to freeze up vs the Heat. Go Boston and I have to admit that I feel that the Champions will come from the West again this year. SA or OKC have much more dept than anyone remaining in the playoffs. Go Boston take this series and end it.

  9. Marcus says:

    GO CELTICS. @ jc…..Really? The Celtics big three stinks? hahaha you must be a young Sixers fan cause everyone knows the Celtics big three are awesome..They’re just old but they still got game. But I still think it doesnt matter who takes the east cause the title will come out of the west(Spurs).

  10. Let’s gooooo senior Celtics lol beat Philly on game seven n then Miami heat will put yo in senior citizen home.

  11. Albert says:

    I agree with YXZ totally

  12. Albert says:

    If you’re for the Heat, you’ll be rooting for philly. It’s that simple.

  13. Allen says:

    The celtics have a great chance if Paul Pierce can have an agressive game and the crowd gets involved and the bench comes alive, Or is that too much to ask? I hope not..Go celtics Go!!

  14. YXZ says:

    I’m a Miami Heat fan and I’m sure they’ll reach the Finals regardless who wins Game 7 between the Sixers and Celtics, but I really think Lebron and Wade will have to put up downright ridiculous numbers each game to beat SAS or OKC (especially without Bosh). Miami really has no depth compared to those 2 teams. I’m afraid to admit it, but the way I see things now, the NBA Champs will come from the Western Conference.

  15. jc says:

    Bostons a bunch of crybabys just like their fans GO SIXERS

  16. jc says:

    The big three stink get all the calls sixers are just better open your eyes. GO SIXERS

  17. another basketball fan says:

    The game will be play in Boston, Sixers is underdog, pressure is on the Celts to win, the Sixers will win tonight game. Celts got everything to lose and Sixers got everything to win. Who would have thought that the Sixers go to a game 7 against the Celts.

  18. Mike says:

    hope Ai get paidoff like Nowizki

  19. jay says:

    mga tanga … heat ang mag chachampion ngyon! buwahahaha!!!

  20. Deek says:

    Celts match better against Miami. They have a chance!

  21. Arman says:

    There is no doubt about it, the Celtics will win game 7.
    I definitely disagree with people saying that Celtics have no chance beating the Heat. Last years series was a lot tighter than the results show and in two of the losses Celtics were leading with 3, 4 or 5 points late in the 4th quarter before they lost. This year they have a better roster and Bosh is missing for the Heat.
    Seriously guys, can you really believe that a team which is so one-dimensional offensively, having only two guys who can score and both doing actually the same stuff, beat the best defense over the past 4 years that easily??? For me anything’s possible … Celtics 4-3, 4-2 or Heat 4-3, 4-2 … just don’t underestimate Boston

  22. JOSE says:

    where is ray no show allen

  23. Jordan says:

    I’m rooting for the 76ers…i would love to see them turn it up! the celtics are a boring Gheritol Bunch…old as hell and DONE! mind you this series should have been finished and the siers should have beat the C’s game 1…

    @Leon Douchette…your name sounds like a Feminine Cleansing Product!

  24. skullz says:

    For Philli to win 2morrow (fingers crossed) they have to find a place between the “Possible and Impossible” The … Pomissible. Quote Barney from how I met your mother hahaha 🙂

    Go Sixers 🙂

  25. erzurum says:

    i think boston beat phila very easy at the game 7. because phila have’nt any leader player but boston have like pierce, garnett and rondo.

  26. Midnite Pulse says:

    I really don’t see any of these two teams capable of pushing the Heat to the brink, I mean the only team that had that ability was Indiana but since they blew that opportunity due to their lack of confidence and determination and as being mentioned by one of the comments above was their being a little too emotional. I am not in any way questioning their abilities but the Heat was just overwhelming in every way and whoever comes out alive in the Boston/Philly series is gonna have a HELL of a time. The only teams that can stop the Heat are those coming from the west. How I wish the Spurs come out and deny LeBron a ring and see Bosh cry a second time.

  27. i wish that boqton will win

  28. PJ says:

    It really doesn’t matter who wins this game. Nor does it even matter who wins the Eastern Conference Finals. The winner of the Western Conference Series will be the new NBA Champions.

  29. Stamitz says:

    Well being a Heat fan you all think that a root for Sixers will be pretty selfish given that statistically they are the weaker team and if they won game 7 it would be easier for us to win the east finals. But i think it would be more thrilling for them to be against us cause they are a young team full of energy and I really apprecieate the effort they have put on this far

  30. Minde says:

    i gonna support celtics last run today,but everyone know that superfinal gonna be in west side.Spurs-Thunder serries gonna develope champion of this year…And if spurs gonna be healthy in my eyes nobdy can beat them.Sorry i dont believe that 2 men lebron and dwade can beat 8-9 players whos playing and defending together as one… at teh end of the best team wins,not individual…Heat need new coach,who do not rely almost everythign on 3 people …

  31. Karlo Garcia says:

    Boston win game #7. The Celtics playin like 08.

  32. LBjDwadeCB1 says:

    i wish philly could win the semi finals so miami could rest bosh and get ready for the finals

  33. SNSMedia says:

    one word will come in your minds when the game is finished..


  34. THUNDERUP! says:

    Hey guys! let’s not forget the Sixers defeated the Bulls on the first round. Remember that those guys holds the number two seed before the post season started. We need new faces in the playoffs! hehe

  35. Roger says:

    Boston vs Miami would be better

    If Sixers win, this would be boring! Miami will surely win.

  36. wadeallday says:

    smh to W/E wat are u saying none of the eastern teams can handle the spurs or thunder. Spurs played some pretty bad teams so far, the Jazz really, then the clippers with an injured cp3 and blake griffin, i respect wat the thunders have done, but your going to put them above them HEAT. cant wait to see KD get shut down by big daddy LBJ and wade go crazy again and again.

    • Vladimir says:

      Prince James couldnt stop Melo who had a horrible season… Melo averaged 27.8ppg 2.2apg 8.2rpg while being guarded by James… On the other hand KD is having another, better than last year season. So your argument fails there when it comes to OKC, not to mention that D. Wade would be left spinning around searching for Westbrook, cuz lets face it, the Flash is getting old and there would be a new Flash in town, Not to mention OKCs big men, Ibaka and Perk, are on whole different level defensivley than anything in the league atm.
      On the other hand, if Miami plays San Antonio, well Indiana gave em a headache… And a strong one… SAS is A TEAM, same as Indiana, but with much more maturity and less hot heads. Ask your self one thing, who could guard Timmy who is having flashback playoff year, Parker who can both score from the outside, drive to the basket and distribute equally well.
      I didn’t mention neither Harden nor Ginobili… It is something both of the western teams have, bench DEPTH. Miami has none, at least compared to those two teams.

      • Vladimir says:

        Oh, on the subject at hand, wish Celtics would win this one and advance to the finals where they would play SAS. Want to see one last epic duel of Timmy and K.G. just like in old good times while K.G. was playing for Timberwolves. :]

  37. Not crazy says:

    I think this would be a hard physical game. I want Boston winning for finishing on the right way the big 3 era, and it could be the beginning of a new one (Rondo)

  38. Brain32 says:

    Go Celtics!

    C’mon guys, I’m for Croatia that means I have to stay awake up to 3:00-4:00AM just to watch you, don’t fail me in game 7,
    I’ll be there 9000 kilometers away in my chair biting my nails…and…watch you WIN!

  39. Toa Tia says:

    go 76ers!!!!!!!!!!

  40. chandler says:

    sixers win win heat then lose to the almighty spurs

  41. Wits says:

    Celtics will win because this is their last run with the eperience and swag i can’t see the sixers nor the heat getting past them and with bosh out in the heat who will contain garnett?? not haslem, not joel anthony none of those no namers will its just lebron and wade whereas we’ve got the big four plus a few decent role players, celtics baby!!!

    • Sick says:

      Celtics will go fishing moron…
      and they don’t want to advance anymore coz they know whats COMING…

  42. BIR-BIR says:

    I’m rooting for my home-team (and the underdog), the Philadelphia 76ers! It’s time for Iggy & Brand to earn those checks; the boys need to man-up (ie. Holiday, Turner, Williams, Hawes, Young), and show they’re REALLY ready to play in the leauge too. It’s time to proove the doubters wrong,and put Philly back on the map… GO SIXERS!!!

  43. morlai Turay says:

    Go celtics.

  44. Mimi Houston says:

    It really doesn’t matter who wins in the East, San Antonio Spurs all the way…possibly OKC if they are lucky to beat SAS!!! If Lebron/Wade have to score 60+ points for them to win, then i have a feeling we will have a short series vs SAS or OKC…there will be no flying, dunking or getting easy points. Again, two superstars can’t win a Championship…Dallas proved that last season!!!

    • heh says:

      Couldn’t agree more. It doesn’t really matter who wins this series or the next in the East because the Western teams are just flat out better this year. Im a Celtics fan but I know they don’t have a shot at getting a championship this year so I’ll be rooting for the Spurs.

    • Sick says:

      Shane Battier’s defense will damage both SAS and OKC.. LOL
      Let’s just see how tough those western teams are… but i don’t think so!

      • Carl says:

        You must not have seen how dominant the Western Conference has been in the last decade.

  45. LebronJames says:

    hope the C’ win this game. Just wanting to play with the greats

  46. HeatHater2020 says:

    Unfortunately, I don’t think either the Celtics or the Sixers have a shot against Miami. I thought the Pacers were the best bet at beating the Heat.

    I hope the Thunder advance since I think they are the only team left that can beat the Heat (although I have a lot of respect for the Spurs).

  47. Yo, google William Butler Yeats’ poem called “The Second Coming” and replace the word “Bethlehem” in the last line with “Boston”. Suddenly the poem is about the Celtics’ big three getting its second championship. If you give this a shot and it doesn’t give you goosebumps, you must be a Philly fan.

  48. temesgen says:

    chris bosh is never near a star, the Heat will do better without him. they match the pacers physical and crushed them with thirty point. I never saw that happened when chris bosh was playing. i hope he stays with his abd,, strain or what have you at his home watching on screen.
    I think the phylis are coming to south beach to face LeBron James , just to obey their job description, konwing they have no means to match with Mr LeBron James.

  49. temesgen says:

    I’m diehard Chicago Bulls fan still believe LeBron James is way more atheletic and more stronger than M. Jordan.I don’t care who wins beteween sixers and celtics, I don’t care you like LeBron James or not , but i know LeBron James won the MVP of the regular season, and so far he is the MVP of the play offs.

    • Carl says:

      No. Kevin Durant. He’s bailed his team out on several occasions, including against my Lakers.

  50. gameon says:

    Let’s go Beantown finish this series up baby!!!

  51. Jamie Hawks says:

    Boston will do everything, this is may be the last game for the big 3 together, I don’t think either of the three will take it as nothing, these 5 years mean a lot to them and they will finish it with a good ending and that ending is not losing to the Eighth Seed, GO CELTICS

  52. DallasMavsGuy says:

    I would like to see the 76ers win. Mostly because it would be interesting to see last year’s first round match up end up the ECF match up. Pacers could have beat the heat, if they stopped getting so emotional all the time. They needed to take that level headedness from the spurs. I would love to see the spurs deny Lebron a title again.

  53. olive august says:

    I’m a diehard Celtics fan, but I’m extremely nervous about this game. It’s not that I fear the Sixers, but I’m afraid of Boston laying another egg in this one. It’s not like the Sixers dominated the Celtics in game 6. The Celtics shot 33% and committed like 17 turnovers and it still went down to the wire almost, on the road. Losing Bradley is huge.. maybe not so much for this game 7, but if they make it to face Miami. I’m nervous enough that I don’t think I’ll even watch this game 7, and just hope to hear the news that the Celtics are headed to Miami. If the C’s make it to face Miami, Rondo is going to have to have the series of his life, KG is going to have to be extremely efficient, and Paul Pierce is going to have to come up big. It wouldn’t hurt if Ray could hit a few more shots. Also, with Bradley being done, Pietrus and Dooling are going to have to contribute more on the offensive end. All of this will have to happen for the Celtics to overcome the Heat and the big 4 to get back to the Finals one more time.

    • me says:

      I agree with you. IMO I think KG and Rondo as of late, with Brad out, have got a lot of pressure on their shoulders. It’s up to them to carry out all those responsibilities and bring this team to a championship and it’s hard. I mean, KG just came outta his shell and Rondo who had lots of minutes with bradley playing is gonna get even more mins and even more responsibilities. It takes a while for that to settle in but they gotta adapt cos the reward, winning, is greater than all the odds. Some people call a wise man foolish the same way some call ”faith” stupid. Well I got faith and maybe I’m a bit forward and maybe even stupid but I say this team can win the whole thing if they really worked to it and put their mind to it.

    • Knickfan says:

      It’s impossible i tell you. Blame celtics for that 33% FG and 17 turnovers because they do it and when they face the heat, you will realize that the C’s is too old for the Heat. Feel the heat

  54. Snap says:

    None of the eastern teams can handle OKC or Spurs, its a different level of basketball…

  55. Celtics Fan Forever says:

    I hope the Celtics win. I really don’t want to see Miami and Philly in the Eastern finals. Regardless, I am a Celtic. Doc Rivers has done an incredible job, as always, especially with all the setbacks with injuries, illnesses, etc. As far as I’m concerned, the Celtics are winners no matter what. They’re not whiners and they continue to fight and grind it out when their backs are against the wall. They truly are professional athletes. The SA Spurs are the only other team I would say that about. Go Celtics!

  56. beantownallday says:

    Celts all day baby.. time to really see how bad we want it. And the vets are gonna be playin with a furious desire to win guaranteed. Pumped!!!!

    • gerald says:

      you old , banged up and out of gas , youre done sorry boston going to locker room and hang up uniforms.

  57. Eric Zap says:

    I am a Boston Celtics fan. I hope they win, but won’t be too upset or surprised if Philly takes it. This has been an ugly but good series. Lots of competition on the floor, guys are working hard, regardless of whether the ball is going in the hole for them.

    I just need to know the winner of this series is gonna beat Miami. I just plain don’t like Lebron or DWade. Dwade is dirty, James gets rediculous calls and cries wihen he doesn’t.

    • wadefan says:

      since when is wade dirty?? since he get beat up every drive to the basket.. sounds like a dirty player to me.. idiot

      • Pete C says:

        There’s a difference between getting hit with contact in the flow of the game and trying to make a play on the ball and the kind of extracuriculars Wade has been involved in. If he wasn’t a superstar he would have been suspended many times over. He’s severly hurt several players and is a very dirty player. What about when he bent Rondo’s arm backwards in the playoffs, probably costing them the series. I’ve seen him throw elbows, hook arms with players on screens, and offensively foul by pushing off with his off hand all the time. He’s a blatantly dirty player that gets away with it because of the superstar favoritism is the NBA, but it’s come at a price, all his physicality and dirty antics have been paying their toll on his body, he’s clearly on the down side of his career prematurely… that’s what he gets for being a punk.

      • heh says:

        Apparently you missed the Boston-Miami series last year where wade dislocated Rondo’s arm intentionally to take him out of the game.

      • usmaine says:

        I 110% agree with Pete C. Wade absolutely needs to behave himself on he court. I used to live him and enjoying his play, but resecnt a couple of years, some his plays make me sick. I even can’t beblieve it is Wade. playing busketball like the man.

      • RealTalk says:

        @heh, rondo pulled wade down and they were both tangled together, wade fell back on Rondo, whick in turn lead to the injury, stuff like this happens and for some reason “it was an accident” doesn’t seem to exist in the game today, if one player gets hurt on another team all the fans aleady have it in their mind that it was on purpose. The only hits that i have seen on purpose this year is MWP on harding, and that stupid player on my Heat team who fouled collison late in the 4th.

    • swaggerville says:

      couldnt agree more about lebron, hes an amazing player dont get me wrong, but so sick of the calls he gets and how he complains if he doesnt get one and trys to make it look likes hes injured or something everytime he misses a basket

      • gerald says:

        lebron cry you fool, lebron get beat up every game they have to do it because he is just unstoppable.

    • Palacios says:

      How can U be not upset if they loose, and call yourself a Boston Celtics fan? I don´t get it.

  58. Roy says:

    I want the Celtics to win because im a huge Rondo fan and like the cast in Boston. But I am more intriged by a Philly-Miami conference finals.

  59. W/E says:

    non of those teams can handle the heat

  60. Chris says:

    C’s can do it if they wanted to win this series….. who wants it more.. hooooooora! banner 18…………

    • Knickfan says:

      celtics cant do it. And in reality they cant win a championship, at least with that roster

  61. AJ says:

    Boston at least has a chance against Miami in the next round. If Philadelphia advances, we’re “treated ” to a very boring 4-0 series….

  62. Hg says:

    I am rooting for the 76ers, we need new blood.