Top 5 Rivals in Lakers History

Next: San Antonio Spurs

FOR SPORTS - Spurs' Tim Duncan and Lakers' Andrew Bynum jump ball at the start of the game Wednesday Jan. 14, 2009 at the AT&T Center Photo via Newscom

#2.  San Antonio Spurs

So you may be thinking, the San Antonio Spurs and the Lakers don’t have that NBA Finals mystique between the two that the Pistons, 76ers, or Celtics carry.  Or perhaps you’re saying to yourself that it’s been a few years since the Lakers and Spurs have engaged in meaningful battles.

Let’s not forget that the Spurs are more than worthy of being the Lakers second biggest rival of all time next to you know who (I don’t think you have to scroll down the page to figure out who #1 will be just yet!).  However, allow the facts to speak for themselves as your imagination takes you down memory lane:

  • In the 1980’s, the two teams faced each other four times
  • They met in consecutive Conference Finals in ’82 and ‘83
  • 1995: A best-record holding Spurs team faced the Lakers in the Western Conference Semifinals with some memorable games courtesy of Nick Van Exel’s last second game winning shots!  San Antonio, however, would move on to win the series 4-2.
  • Between 1999 and 2010, the two clubs have collectively won the NBA Championship nine times!
  • Since 1999, they combined to win 7 consecutive titles!
  • Spurs and Lakers have battled each other six times in the playoffs since 1999 (L.A. winning four out of the 6 encounters).

There is no question that these two powerhouses of the Western Conference over the last decade have made for very exciting basketball.  Arguably the most memorable moment of the rivalry came with 5.4 seconds on the clock during game 5 of the Western Conference semi-finals.

Tim Duncan put his team up ahead by one point after nailing a 20 foot off balance jumper and leaving only 0.4 seconds on the clock.  With the last play of the game in the Lakers hands, Gary Payton inbounded a perfect pass to Derek Fisher who hit an 18 foot jumper to push the Lakers to a dramatic victory that stunned the San Antonio fans in attendance.  The Lakers would go on to win the series.

Next: Boston Celtics

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