But neither will be taking home this year’s Larry O’Brien Trophy.
Meanwhile, the reigning Western Conference champion Suns were the top overall seed after posting an NBA-best 64 wins in the regular season, yet they didn't even reach the conference finals. Phoenix exited the postseason in embarrassing fashion, being shellacked on their home court in Game 7 of the second round by the No. 4 seed Dallas Mavericks.
So the 2022 NBA Finals will pit the No. 2 seed from the East up against the No. 3 seed from the West.
When was the last NBA Finals without a No. 1 seed?
Celtics-Warriors will be the second straight NBA Finals that didn’t feature a single No. 1 seed. The two top seeds in last year’s playoffs – the Philadelphia 76ers and Utah Jazz – also lost in Round 2 as the No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks and No. 2 Suns emerged from each conference. The Bucks then overcame a 2-0 Finals deficit to win the championship.
The last time there were consecutive Finals without a one seed was 2011 (No. 3 Mavericks over No. 2 Heat) and 2012 (No. 2 Heat over No. 2 Thunder).
How many NBA Finals haven’t featured a No. 1 seed?
Including this year, there have been 15 NBA Finals without a No. 1 seed. And most of them have occurred within the past 20 years, with nine coming since 2004.
Both the Celtics and Warriors have been involved in a one-seed-less Finals before. In a battle of No. 2 seeds, the Celtics took down the rival Los Angeles Lakers in six games to win the 1968 Finals. And as a two seed in 2018, the Warriors swept the No. 4 seed Cleveland Cavaliers to secure a second straight title.
Here’s a full look at every NBA Finals that didn’t include a No. 1 seed:
2022: No. 2 Boston Celtics vs. No. 3 Golden State Warriors
2021: No. 3 Milwaukee Bucks over No. 2 Phoenix Suns
2018: No. 2 Golden State Warriors over No. 4 Cleveland Cavaliers
2012: No. 2 Miami Heat over No. 2 Oklahoma City Thunder
2011: No. 3 Dallas Mavericks over No. 2 Miami Heat
2007: No. 3 San Antonio Spurs over No. 2 Cleveland Cavaliers
2006: No. 2 Miami Heat over No. 4 Dallas Mavericks
2005: No. 2 San Antonio Spurs over No. 2 Detroit Pistons
2004: No. 3 Detroit Pistons over No. 2 Los Angeles Lakers
1994: No. 2 Houston Rockets over No. 2 New York Knicks
1978: No. 3 Washington Bullets over No. 4 Seattle SuperSonics
1973: No. 2 New York Knicks over No. 2 Los Angeles Lakers
1968: No. 2 Boston Celtics over No. 2 Los Angeles Lakers
1952: No. 2 Minneapolis Lakers over No. 3 New York Knicks
1951: No. 2 Rochester Royals over No. 3 New York Knicks