BOSTON (CBS) — The 2017-18 Boston Celtics rattled off their 16th straight win on Monday night, joining some rare air in the franchise’s long and storied history.
These Celtics have a long way to go, but have a ton of promise with Brad Stevens on the bench and Kyrie Irving leading the way on the floor, averaging 23 points during the current streak. The Celtics are getting it done with some great defense, holding opponents to just 94 points per game over the last 16 games. They’ve also showed a knack for coming back, erasing double-digit deficits in three of their wins, including two different 17-point holes against the defending champion Warriors.
They’ll look to extend this run it to 17 straight wins on Wednesday night when they pay a visit to the Miami Heat. Here’s a look at the longest win streaks in Celtics history, as the current squad inches closer to the franchise’s record of 19-straight wins:
2008-09 Celtics: 19 Games
The defending champion Celtics got off to a ridiculous 27-2 start which included 19 straight wins from November 15 to December 23, the longest winning streak in the franchises history.
Boston won 12 straight at home and seven on the road during the stretch, averaging 107 points while holding opponents to 93 points per game. Paul Pierce averaged 17.1 points, Kevin Garnett put up 16.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per night, and Rajon Rondo was on his way to becoming a star averaging 13.6 points, 7.8 assists and 5.8 rebounds during the streak.
The good times came to an end with a loss to the Lakers in Los Angeles on Christmas Day, and the Celtics actually dropped seven of their next nine games. But after that bump in the road, they ripped off a 12-game win streak and finished the season 62-20 despite Garnett getting injured in February. That injury proved to be too much to overcome in the playoffs as Boston lost to the Orlando Magic in seven games in the East Semis after an epic seven-game win over the Chicago Bulls in the opening round.
1981-82 Celtics: 18 Games
The Celtics looked poised to defend another title and went on a late-season streak from February 24 until March 26, averaging 115 points per game while winning 18 straight. Larry Bird led the way averaging 22.5 points in 13 games, while Robert Parish added 22.2 points per contest, including a 37-points, 21-rebound showing in Philadelphia in Boston’s 15th straight victory. Cedric Maxwell chipped in with 17.8 points per contest during the streak.
Dr. J and the 76ers were the ones to end the streak in Boston, and two months later ended the Celtics’ hopes for a repeat in a seven-game series in the Eastern Conference Finals. It was that series the famous “Beat L.A.!” chant was born.
1959-60 Celtics: 17 Games
The Celtics were just starting their reign of the NBA during the 1959-60 season, rattling off 17 straight wins on their way to a 53-19 regular season. Led by Bill Russell, Bob Cousy and Tommy Heinsohn, seven Celtics averaged double figures that season and they beat the St. Louis Hawks for their second of eight straight NBA titles.
1964-65 Celtics: 16 Games
These 62-win Celtics were all about streaking, starting the season 11-0. They had won seven straight before a loss to the Knicks in Providence and followed it up with a 16-game streak from December 5 to January 22.
A few months later, Boston beat the Lakers in the NBA Finals for the third time in four years to claim their seventh straight championship.