The National Basketball Association (NBA) Finals is the championship series for the NBA and the conclusion of its postseason. All Finals have been played in a best-of-seven format, and are contested between the winners of the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference (formerly Divisions before 1970), except in 1950 when the Eastern Division champion faced the winner between the Western and Central Division champions. From 1946 through 1949, when the league was known as the Basketball Association of America (BAA), the playoffs were a three-stage tournament where the two semifinal winners played each other in the finals. The winning team of the series receives the Larry O'Brien Championship Trophy.
The current home-and-away format in the NBA Finals is 2–2–1–1–1 (the team with the better regular-season record plays on their home court in Games 1, 2, 5, and 7), which has been used in 1947–1948, 1950–1952, 1957–1970, 1972–1974, 1976–1977, 1979–1984, and 2014–present. It was previously in a 2–3–2 format (the team with the better regular season record plays on their home court in Games 1, 2, 6, and 7) during 1949, 1953–1955, and 1985–2013, in a 1–1–1–1–1–1–1 format during 1956 and 1971, and in a 1–2–2–1–1 format during 1975 and 1978.
The Eastern Conference/Division leads the Western Conference/Division in series won (39–34). The defunct Central Division, in existence during the 1949–50 NBA season when the NBA was divided into three divisions and different from the current Central Division created in 1970 when the then existing Eastern Division was upgraded as a conference, won one championship. The Boston Celtics and the Minneapolis/Los Angeles Lakers alone own almost half of the titles, having won a combined 33 of 73 championships. As of 2019, the defending champions are the Toronto Raptors, making history as the first team from outside of the United States to win.