The Celtics and Lakers are set to play the 17th Game 7 in NBA Finals history. Here is a look, in reverse chronological order, at some of the most memorable of those grand finales -- many of which, not surprisingly, involve Boston. The first Finals Game 7 in 11 years ended with Tim Duncan and the Spurs winning their third title in seven years and denying the Pistons back-to-back championships. Playing at home, San Antonio overcame a nine-point third-quarter deficit behind Duncan (25 points, 11 rebounds) and Manu Ginobili (23 points).
2 of 8Manny Millan/SI
Critics described the physical, offensively deficient series as Uglyball (neither team scored more than 91 points in a game), but the result was a beautiful thing for the Rockets, who delivered the first major sports championship to Houston. Finals MVP Hakeem Olajuwon had 25 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists in Game 7, while Knicks guard John Starks famously shot 2-of-18 from the field and 0-of-11 from three-point range in Houston.
3 of 8Rick Stewart/Getty Images
Facing an upstart Detroit team in their third Game 7 of the playoffs, the Lakers defended their NBA championship with a victory in Los Angeles. Finals MVP James Worthy led the way with 36 points and 16 rebounds, while the Pistons were weakened by Isiah Thomas' lingering ankle injury.
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In the first Finals duel between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird (pictured earlier in the series), the Celtics survived the Lakers' late comeback to win the decisive game in Boston. Cedric Maxwell scored 24 points for Boston and Finals MVP Bird added 20 points and 12 rebounds.
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After hobbling off the court early in Game 5 with a torn thigh muscle, Willis Reed (inset) made a surprising and triumphant return moments before tip-off for the deciding game in New York. Buoyed by his presence -- and his scoring the first two baskets of the game -- the Knicks won the title behind Walt Frazier's 36 points and 19 assists.
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The Celtics nearly squandered a 17-point fourth-quarter lead but, thanks in part to Don Nelson's famous last-minute shot (inset) near the free-throw line, held on to win in Los Angeles. Bill Russell, the NBA's greatest winner, retired as a player after collecting his 11th title.
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In the midst of winning eight consecutive championships, the Celtics escaped in overtime at Boston. The Lakers had an opportunity to win it in regulation, but Frank Selvy (inset) missed a mid-range shot in the closing seconds.
8 of 8Richard Meek/SI
A rookie center named Bill Russell finished with 19 points and 32 rebounds, and fellow rookie Tom Heinsohn had 37 points and 23 rebounds as the Celtics overcame a combined 5-for-40 shooting performance from Bob Cousy and Bill Sharman to prevail in double overtime in Boston. It was Boston's first NBA championship.
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