The First Celtics-Lakers Championship Series

It was April 1959.

America liked Ike.

Southern California was without a basketball team, and Mrs. Earvin Johnson Sr. was five months pregnant with a baby boy the world would one day know as "Magic."

It also marked the first time that the Boston Celtics would face the Lakers in the NBA Finals. Boston defeated Minneapolis 4-0.

The series sweep was the first in Finals history, though the Lakers went on to get swept in two more Finals, an NBA record for greatest number of Finals failures ending in a sweep.

The 1959 NBA Finals was also the first of eight consecutive championships for Boston.

Frank Ramsey hit for 29 points in 27 minutes as the Celtics won the opener, 118-115, before a crowd of 8,195 and a national television audience on a Saturday afternoon in the Garden.

In Game 2, Boston's Bill Sharman extended his consecutive free throw string to 50 and scored 28 in a 128-108 blowout.

Bob Cousy had 23 points and 15 assists in 48 minutes of a 123-110 Game 3 Celtics' victory in Minneapolis.

K.C. Jones, Jim Loscutoff and Tom Heinsohn carried coach Red Auerbach off the floor when the Celtics won Game 4, 118-113. It was Boston's 22d consecutive victory over the Lakers.

"We set a lot of records this year, and some may be broken," Auerbach observed. "But there's one record that won't - winning the championship in four straight games."

In the next 10 years, the Celtics and Lakers met six more times in the Finals. Boston won each series, overcoming heroic efforts by Lakers greats and near-greats named Jerry West, Elgin Baylor, Wilt Chamberlain, and Mel Counts.

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