See NBA Finals results, records by year throughout league history

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See NBA Finals results, records by year throughout league history originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

The 2022 NBA Finals is shaping up to be a battle for bragging rights with the Boston Celtics and Golden State Warriors each having something to gain with a win. 

Boston boasts one of the most storied histories in the NBA, with countless All-Stars and banners spanning generations. Meanwhile, Golden State has gone through several relocations and built itself into one of the most prolific sports dynasties of the 21st century. 

Winning this series would tip the scales in favor of Boston, who are currently tied with the Los Angeles Lakers with 17 championships. 

Meanwhile, a win for Golden State would give them the edge over the Chicago Bulls. Both franchises are currently tied in a distant third place with six titles apiece.

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Here is a comprehensive look at all the NBA Finals results and a few notable highlights along the way:

1940s

1947: Philadelphia Warriors (now Golden State) beat the Chicago Stags 4-1

1948: Baltimore Bullets beat the Philadelphia Warriors 4-2

1949: Minneapolis Lakers (now Los Angeles) beat the Washington Capitols 4-2

1950s

1950: Minneapolis Lakers beat the Syracuse Nationals 4-2

1951: Rochester Royals (now Sacramento Kings) beat the New York Knicks 4-3

1952: Minneapolis Lakers beat the New York Knicks 4-3

1953: Minneapolis Lakers beat the New York Knicks 4-1

1954: Minneapolis Lakers beat the Syracuse Nationals 4-3

1955: Syracuse National beat the Fort Wayne Pistons (now Detroit Pistons) 4-3

1956: Philadelphia Warriors beat the Fort Wayne Pistons 4-1

1957: Boston Celtics beat the St. Louis Hawks (now Atlanta Hawks) 4-3

1958: St. Louis Hawks beat the Boston Celtics 4-2

1959: Boston Celtics beat the Minneapolis Lakers 4-0

The Lakers, then in Minneapolis, already had five championships to Boston’s one, but the Celtics landed the first punch in the start of an incredible rivalry. 

The Celtics won in decisive fashion, completing the first NBA Finals sweep. Bill Russell, the eventual namesake of the NBA Final MVP trophy, averaged 29.5 rebounds across four games and three Celtics players -- Tom Heinsohn, Frank Ramsey and Bill Sharman -- averaged 22.5 points or more per game. 

1960s

1960: Boston Celtics beat the St. Louis Hawks 4-3

1961: Boston Celtics beat the St. Louis Hawks 4-1

1962: Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-3

1963: Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1

1964: Boston Celtics beat the San Francisco Warriors 4-2

1965: Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1

1966: Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-3

1967: Philadelphia 76ers beat the San Francisco Warriors 4-2

1968: Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-2

1969: Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-3

1970s

1970: New York Knicks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-3

1971: Milwaukee Bucks beat the Baltimore Bullets (now Washington Wizards) 4-0

1972: Los Angeles Lakers beat the New York Knicks 4-1

1973: New York Knicks beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1

1974: Boston Celtics beat the Milwaukee Bucks 4-3

1975: Golden State Warriors beat the Washington Bullets 4-0

1976: Boston Celtics beat the Phoenix Suns 4-2

1977: Portland Trailblazers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 4-2

1978: Washington Bullets beat the Seattle SuperSonics (now Oklahoma City Thunder) 4-3

1979: Seattle SuperSonics beat the Washington Bullets 4-1

1980s

1980: Los Angeles Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 4-2

1981: Boston Celtics beat the Houston Rockets 4-2

1982: Los Angeles Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 4-2

1983: Philadelphia 76ers beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-0

1984: Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-3

1985: Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 4-2

1986: Boston Celtics beat the Houston Rockets 4-2

1987: Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 4-2

1988: Los Angeles Lakers beat the Detroit Pistons 4-3

Isiah Thomas opened the third quarter of Game 6 on a tear, scoring 14 points and rallying the Pistons offense in hopes of closing out the series with their fourth and final win. All that seemed to come to a halt when he hobbled off with an ankle injury. Thomas wasn’t to be stopped, however, and returned less than a minute later, pouring in 11 more points in the quarter. He finished with 43 points and eight assists, but the Pistons fell short of sealing the deal as the Lakers won 103-102.

While the first five games of this series were decided by double-digits, the final two meetings came down to three points or less with the Lakers winning both and denying Detroit its first NBA championship. The Pistons avenged their loss the following year with a 4-0 sweep of Los Angeles, but many view this as one of the main distinctions between the Bad Boys’ and the Chicago Bulls’ three-peats.

1989: Detroit Pistons beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-0

1990s

1990: Detroit Pistons beat the Portland Trailblazers 4-1

1991: Chicago Bulls beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1

1992: Chicago Bulls beat the Portland Trailblazers 4-2

1993: Chicago Bulls beat the Phoenix Suns 4-2

1994: Houston Rockets beat the New York Knicks 4-3

1995: Houston Rockets beat the Orlando Magic 4-0

1996: Chicago Bulls beat the Seattle SuperSonics 4-2

1997: Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz 4-2

While the details have since been tweaked, the “Flu Game” remains equally inspiring to sports fans around the world.

Michael Jordan’s battle with dehydration, nausea and exhaustion are a made-for-tv moment that continues to play on in commercials and Finals highlights as a rally cry for perseverance and overcoming the odds. It has since emerged that he was actually suffering from food poisoning, but his 38 point Game 5 performance is one of the most iconic moments in his storied career.

1998: Chicago Bulls beat the Utah Jazz 4-2

1999: San Antonio Spurs beat the New York Knicks 4-1

2000s

2000: Los Angeles Lakers beat the Indiana Pacers 4-2

2001: Los Angeles Lakers beat the Philadelphia 76ers 4-1

Tyronn Lue and the Lakers may have won the series, but Allen Iverson won the moment. 

In overtime of Game 1, Iverson hit Lue, a backup point guard for the Lakers still trying to establish himself in the rotation, with his signature stepback. There’s some dispute as to whether it was a successful fake-out or if Lue tripped on Iverson’s foot after the shot, but there’s no denying the image of Lue on the ground as Iverson stepped over him in dramatic fashion, staring him down the whole way. 

While the Lakers went on to win the next four games, this overtime loss spoiled their perfect postseason, having swept through the first three rounds. 

Despite winning three NBA championships and carving out a successful career as a coach, Lue will long be remembered for this moment.

2002: Los Angeles Lakers beat the New Jersey Nets (now Brooklyn Nets) 4-0

2003: San Antonio Spurs beat the New Jersey Nets 4-2

2004: Detroit Pistons beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-1

2005: San Antonio Spurs beat the Detroit Pistons 4-3

2006: Miami Heat beat the Dallas Mavericks 4-2

2007: San Antonio Spurs beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0

2008: Boston Celtics beat the Los Angeles Lakers 4-2

The 12th Finals matchup between these two blue bloods opened in dramatic fashion, with Paul Pierce leaving Game 1 in a wheelchair only to return minutes later and hit back-to-back 3-pointers before finishing with 22 points on the night. Three games later, the Celtics once again proved they were the comeback kids, this time rallying behind a team effort. 

Los Angeles seemed to own Game 4 from the tip-off, stretching their lead to 24 midway through the second quarter. The Celtics, however, slowly chipped away over the next quarter and a half, setting the stage for an epic fourth quarter. The teams exchanged buckets, but it was all Celtics down the stretch, outscoring the Lakers 17-8 in the final five minutes and taking a 3-1 lead on the series.

2009: Los Angeles Lakers beat the Orlando Magic 4-1

2010s

2010: Los Angeles Lakers beat the Boston Celtics 4-3

2011: Dallas Mavericks beat the Miami Heat 4-2

2012: Miami Heat beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 4-1

2013: Miami Heat beat the San Antonio Spurs 4-3

2014: San Antonio Spurs beat the Miami Heat 4-1

2015: Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-2

2016: Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Golden State Warriors 4-3

The second of four consecutive Finals matchups between these two teams was anything but routine. The Warriors jumped out to a 3-1 lead and, as history would indicate, were poised to defend their NBA title. The Cavaliers, however, stuck around and picked up wins in Game 5 and 6, setting the stage for an epic Game 7. 

The final four quarters of this series lived up to the hype, with neither team able to separate as their stars took turns exchanging baskets. With things tied up at 89, the Cavaliers finally got a breakthrough with a chase-down block by LeBron James and clutch 3-pointer by Kyrie Irving. 

Cleveland became the first team to overcome a 3-1 deficit in Finals history and LeBron James came through on his promise to deliver a championship for his hometown.

2017: Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-1

2018: Golden State Warriors beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 4-0

2019: Toronto Raptors beat the Golden State Warriors 4-2

2020s

2020: Los Angeles Lakers beat the Miami Heat 4-2

The 2020s started in historic fashion for the NBA, with the league attempting one of the most ambitious postseason tournaments in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Taking place in Orlando, 22 teams competed for the chance to lift the Larry O’Brien trophy with two emerging to the Finals -- Lakers and Heat. 

James ultimately triumphed over his former team in six games, becoming just the fourth NBA player to win a championship with three different teams, but the series was remembered more for the league's successful attempt to overcome the odds of a zero-COVID bubble. With only a handful of team officials in attendance, the Lakers celebrated among themselves and the confetti.

2021: Milwaukee Bucks beat the Phoenix Suns 4-2