What Was the Real Final Score in Lakers vs Celtics Game in Dec 1979?

The first few episodes of ‘Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty’ focus on presenting major figures from the LA Lakers’ “Showtime” period and the behind-the-scenes drama. The players, on the other hand, go to the court in the seventh episode, and basketball becomes the central theme of the story. The first taste of the legendary rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics is included in this episode. The two teams play a game at the Celtics’ home court in the episode, and the game goes down to the wire, with the Lakers defeating their archrivals in the closing seconds. What happened in the actual contest, though? Is the show’s representation of the game accurate? Let’s see what we can find out! WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

How Close Was Lakers vs. Celtics Game in December 1979?

The LA Lakers go on a stretch of away games in December in the seventh episode of ‘Winning Time,’ dubbed ‘Invisible Man.’ Under interim Head Coach Paul Westhead, though, the club is struggling to win games. They had lost two of their first three away games, and their next match is against their archrivals, the Boston Celtics. The Celtics have won the NBA Championship on multiple occasions and are in excellent shape, led by youngster Larry Bird. As a result, the Lakers’ odds of winning are slim. Nonetheless, towards the end of the episode, the LA Lakers have triumphed and won the game by a razor-thin margin of 99-98.


In actuality, the Los Angeles Lakers did play the Boston Celtics in December, but it was at The Forum. The game took place on December 28, 1979. Contrary to the show’s portrayal, the Lakers were in excellent form leading into the game, having won 10 of their 14 games in December. The game was one-sided, with the Lakers dominating the Celtics with a final score of 123–105. Magic Johnson led the Lakers in scoring with 23 points on the night.

The two teams would meet again a few weeks later, on January 13, 1980. The Lakers did go to Boston this time, and the game was held in the Boston Garden, the Celtics’ former home court. The game was a nail-biter from the start, as the Celtics outscored the Lakers in the first quarter and took the lead. The Lakers, on the other hand, rallied to outscore the Celtics in the second and third quarters. During the fourth quarter, only a point separated the two teams, and the Lakers seized victory with a total score of 100-98. With three points, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was the leading scorer.

As a result, it appears that the broadcast combined events from both games to create an engrossing experience for spectators while maintaining a high level of stakes. Furthermore, teams play each other multiple times during a standard NBA season. As a result, it’s unlikely that the show’s creators will display every game between the Lakers and the Celtics on screen. Nonetheless, the show’s combination of the two matches gives fans a taste of the historic rivalry between the two teams within the narrative setting.


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