Celtics vs. 76ers: Upcoming Series Info & Rivalry History
Jan 24, 2023
Philadelphia 76ers tickets and Boston Celtics tickets can be found on their respective team pages.
Yes, as two of the most distinguished franchises in the National Basketball Association that both play in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics are rivals.
The Boston Celtics have many rivals within the NBA. Within the Eastern Conference, they have intense rivalries with the Philadelphia 76ers, the New York Knicks, the Brooklyn Nets, and the Miami Heat. They also have one of the most intense rivalries in all the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers.
The Philadelphia 76ers’ biggest rivals are the Boston Celtics within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference. The 76ers also have rivalries with the Brooklyn Nets, the New York Knicks, the Washington Wizards, and the Denver Nuggets.
Rivalries are born and fueled in the playoffs, and the Celtics vs.76ers rivalry is among the biggest in the league. The two franchises have the most meetings in NBA playoff history, squaring off in 21 series between 1953 and 2022. The Celtics hold the edge among regular season and playoff results, winning 327 games to Philadelphia’s 242 between 1949 and 2022. The Celtics also have the longest win streak at 20 consecutive wins between 1971–1974.
The two franchises met in the playoffs a handful of times in the 1950s when the 76ers were still the Syracuse Nationals, but things ramped up in 1963 when the Nationals relocated to Philadelphia. Two years later, the 76ers acquired future hall of famer Wilt Chamberlain as a counter to the Celtics’ run of dominance powered by their own hall of famer Bill Russell. The two franchises met in the playoffs for the next five consecutive seasons, with the Celtics getting the best of Philadelphia in four of those.
The rivalry kicked back up in the ’70s when the Sixers acquired Julius Erving in the 1976 offseason and instantly became contenders in the East. Erving, aka Dr. J, led the Sixers past the Celtics in the 1977 Eastern Conference semifinals on the way to an Eastern Conference pennant before losing to the Portland Trail Blazers. The Celtics would struggle for another handful of years before they drafted hall of famer Larry Bird. Between 1980 and 1985, the Celtics and 76ers would meet in the playoffs four more times, each time in the Eastern Conference Finals. The 76ers got the edge in 1980 and 1982, and the Celtics bested their rivals in 1981 and 1985.
Since then, the two teams have met four times in the playoffs: 2002, 2012, 2018, and 2020, with the Celtics coming out on top in all four series.
The Boston Celtics play their home games at TD Garden, previously referred to as the FleetCenter and the new Boston Garden. TD Garden replaced the original Boston Garden in 1995 and is also the home to the Boston Bruins®.
Related: Things to Do Near TD Garden, Step Inside TD Garden
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia 76ers play at Wells Fargo Center in the southwest corner of the Philadelphia Sports Complex, which also includes Lincoln Financial Field and Citizens Bank Park, homes of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Phillies, respectively. Wells Fargo Center has been home to the 76ers since 1996 when it was originally named Corestates Center.
Related: Things to Do Near Lincoln Financial Field, Step Inside Wells Fargo Center
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