Lakers versus Celtics and the NBA Playoffs is a belt-scrolling basketball game developed and published by Electronic Arts for DOS PCs in 1989. It later received a port for the Sega Genesis on December 1990.
The first game in the NBA Playoffs series (later known as NBA Showdown, then NBA Live), Lakers versus Celtics is the first video game endorsed by the National Basketball Association and replicates eight teams from the 1989 NBA Playoffs (1990 NBA Playoffs for the Genesis version), including their full roster (with simulated stats for each player based on their yearly performance), as well as the two NBA All-Star Teams. It also features "signature moves" from key basketball players at the time (such as those from Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, and Michael Jordan). It also features a game mode that simulates the playoffs, complete with an in-studio half-time show showing the rest of the playoffs at the time.
The PAL Mega Drive version of the game is notable for being available in extremely limited quantities, thought to be due to licensing issues in that region that lead to a product recall. Subsequently, mint copies found in the wild tend to command high prices on auction sites.
The Genesis version of the game later received a sequel in 1991 with Bulls vs Lakers and the NBA Playoffs.
As the game is restricted to the NBA Playoffs and NBA All-Star Games, the game only includes 10 playable teams, half of which are from the Eastern Conference and half of which are from the Western Conference.
Although both versions of the game show the playoffs from the conference semifinals, neither are accurate to the actual brackets at that point. As a notable example, the titular Celtics did not reach the conference semifinals in both playoff seasons.