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Town’s No. 1 rivalry is on the hardwood

The biggest and best rivalry in sports returns to the the Garden tonight, when the Lakers come to town to face the Celtics.

The biggest and best rivalry in sports returns to the the Garden tonight, when the Lakers come to town to face the Celtics.

Before you disagree with those first five words, think about it.

The Lakers and Celtics have met in the NBA Finals twice over the last three years, each winning one title — and a rubber match this season is a distinct possibility.

Combined, they own 33 NBA titles, with Boston edging L.A., 17 to 16. How could there be a more storied past between any pair of teams?

“The game speaks for itself,” said Ray Allen, who can tie the record for career 3-pointers with one tonight. “We watched some film earlier, and I saw something, just the ticker at the bottom of the screen, talking about how many times we’ve made it to the Finals — most of any two teams that have met in any major sport.

“So there’s so much history behind it, and I know people are coming in from all over America to watch this game.”

Don’t bring up Red Sox vs. Yankees — they meet, what, 63 times over the regular season? There are plenty of chances to catch your fair share of that. And as far as history goes, it’s a blowout. (Sorry, Red Sox fans.)

Ohio State vs. Michigan??Amateurs ... literally.

Packers vs. Bears? Jay Cutler disagrees.

There really isn’t a bigger matchup than the C’s and the Lake Show. And we’ve gotten a taste of it over the last few seasons.

“Obviously growing up, all of us we remember this rivalry and now we get to live and be a part of that history,” Boston coach Doc Rivers said. “It’s neat; it’s just a fun thing. I think we all enjoy it. I think both teams enjoy it. I think both teams, even though there’s not a lot of love ... we love playing each other.”

 
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