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This day in sports: Lakers finally beat Celtics in NBA Finals

Lakers celebrate in the locker room after beating the Boston Celtics in Game 6 to win the 1985 NBA Finals on June 9, 1985.
The Lakers’ Kurt Rambis, left, coach Pat Riley, center, and Magic Johnson, right, celebrate with the rest of the team in the locker room after beating the Boston Celtics in Game 6 to win the 1985 NBA Finals on June 9, 1985.
(Los Angeles Times)

After a quarter-century of one team dousing pain and futility on the other, the Lakers finally beat the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals on this date in 1985, clinching with a 111-100 victory in Game 6.

Of the 15 Celtics championship banners hanging from the rafters over the parquet floor at the Boston Garden, eight came from beating the Lakers in the championship series. The most recent one came in the previous season.

“We got the monkey off our backs,” James Worthy said. “The hurt is gone.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 29 points and was named most valuable player in a series that saw Boston lose a deciding game in the NBA Finals at home for the first time.

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This week, the Dodgers were scheduled to play the first of three games Tuesday against the Reds at Cincinnati. The Angels were set to play the first of two inter-league games with the Miami Marlins at Angel Stadium. Both contests were postponed because of COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has scuttled the sports calendar, but here’s a look at what was supposed to happen -- and has happened -- on this date.

Other memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1940 — Stanford graduate Lawson Little, 29, beats Gene Sarazen by three strokes in an 18-hole playoff to win the U.S. Open at Canterbury Country Club in Cleveland. Little shoots a 70 and is the fifth player to win both the U.S. Open and the U.S. Amateur.

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1973 — Facing a field of five horses, Secretariat, with Ron Turcotte in the saddle, wins the Belmont Stakes in record time to take the Triple Crown. Secretariat sets a dirt track world mark on the 1½-mile Belmont Park course with a time of 2 minutes 24 seconds, and a second record for largest margin of victory in the Belmont, 31 lengths. He is the first since Citation in 1948 to win the Triple Crown.

1990 — Monica Seles of Yugoslavia is the youngest winner of the French Open when she beats two-time champion Steffi Graf of West Germany 7-6 (8-6), 6-4. Seles — at 16 years, six months — ends Graf’s 66-match winning streak.

1993 — Patrick Roy makes 18 saves and the Montreal Canadiens win their 24th Stanley Cup by beating the Kings and Wayne Gretzky 4-1 in Game 5 of the final at Montreal. The Canadiens hold the Kings to 14 shots in the first two periods and 19 for the game — none by Gretzky. Marty McSorely scores the Kings’ only goal in the second period.

2003 — Ten years later, the New Jersey Devils end another Southern California team’s try for the Stanley Cup when they beat the Mighty Ducks 3-0 in Game 7, . It is the Devils’ third NHL championship in nine seasons. Anaheim had extended the series with a 5-2 win in Game 6, but goaltender Martin Brodeur stops 24 shots in the finale for his third shutout of the series.

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2007 — Rags to Riches, a filly ridden by John Velazquez, outruns Curlin in a heart-stopping stretch duel and narrowly wins the Belmont Stakes to become the first female to take the final leg of the Triple Crown in more than a century. Rags to Riches stumbles at the start but recovers to be the first filly since Tanya in 1905 to visit the winner’s circle.

2008 — Ken Griffey Jr. is the sixth player in baseball history to hit 600 home runs when he drives a 3-1 pitch from left-hander Mark Hendrickson into the right-field seats 413 feet away in the first inning of the Cincinnati Reds’ 9-4 win over the Florida Marlins at Dolphins Stadium in Miami.

Height and size mattered to the Lakers on this date in 1973 when they selected seven players in the NBA draft, five of whom are in the giant class.

2012 — Manny Pacquiao tries to turn his World Boxing Assn. welterweight title fight with Timothy Bradley into a brawl, but it is Bradley who wins a controversial split-decision at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas to end a remarkable run by the Filipino fighter. Bradley, who wins five of the last six rounds, is ahead 115-113 on two scorecards and behind by the same numbers on the third. It is Pacquiao’s first loss in more than seven years.

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2013 — Inbee Park of South Korea birdies the third hole of a playoff with Scotland’s Catriona Matthew to win the rain-delayed LPGA Championship at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsfield, N.Y. It is Park’s second major championship in a row and third of her career. Earlier in the year, she won the Kraft Nabisco Championship at Rancho Mirage.

Sources: The Times, Associated Press


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