NEW YORK (AP) — The Celtics won by beating out the Lakers, giving the draft lottery an old NBA Finals feel.
Yet, obvious by Magic Johnson’s smile, the hated rivals were both celebrating.
The Celtics won the lottery Tuesday night to continue another amazing basketball springtime in Boston, capitalizing on a trade they made with the Brooklyn Nets four years ago.
A night after winning Game 7 against Washington to secure an Eastern Conference finals matchup with Cleveland, the Celtics cashed in their 25 percent chance to land the No. 1 pick in the June draft.
The Lakers moved up one spot to second to hold onto their pick. They would have had to trade it to Philadelphia if it fell outside the top three.
The Celtics finished dismantling the team that beat the Lakers to win the 2008 championship when they traded Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn on the night of the 2013 draft. Boston acquired the Nets’ 2014, 2016 and 2018 first-round picks, as well as the rights to swap in 2017.
The timing was perfect for the Celtics, as Brooklyn finished with the worst record in the league.
The 76ers will pick third, while Phoenix fell two spots and is fourth.
Sacramento actually moved up into the top three, but the 76ers had the right to swap with them through terms of a past trade. The Kings will select fifth and 10th.
Orlando is sixth, followed by Minnesota, New York and Dallas. Charlotte is No. 11, with Detroit, Denver and Miami rounding out the 14 lottery spots.
The draft is June 22 at Barclays Center in Brooklyn