The NBA and Christmas Day have become one of the best sports traditions. The NBA lines up some of the most exciting match-ups they have to offer. This season there are five games in total, beginning at 11 a.m. Central until the end of the day. As an added bonus, we get to enjoy the NBA Finals rematch featuring LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and more.
Each of these teams have gone face-to-face on Christmas in 2015 and 2016 while splitting each of the games. Last season, the Cleveland Cavaliers outscored Golden State by 8 points in the fourth quarter and defeated them by 1. The previous season, the would be 73-9, Warriors came out strong early and beat the Cavs 89-63.
LeBron James on Christmas Day
Thanks to the NBA, fans get the treat of watching LeBron James playing in his 12th Christmas Day game of his career. He is 8-3 during his career on this day, while averaging 27.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game. His shooting splits are .509/.327/.657 for his career on Christmas. Take a look at some of the James’ Christmas Day moments from over the years.
2003- It all started his rookie year in a battle against Tracy McGrady. He put up 34 points with 2 rebounds and 6 assists. Did have 8 turnovers in their loss to the Orlando Magic. James took this as a major learning lesson as he wouldn’t lose on Christmas Day until 2014.
2009- James takes on Kobe Bryant and the reigning champion Los Angeles Lakers. Bryant nearly had a triple-double with 35 points, 10 rebounds and 8 assists. Wasn’t enough to beat LeBron. James added 26 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists. Cavs win.
2010- A year later, what does Lebron do with his new team on Christmas Day? Has his first Christmas triple-double in 16-point win at the Staples Center. James had 27 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. Bryant struggled and scored 17 points while shooting 37.5% on 16 field-goal attempts. He beats the Lakers (again) with his new team.
2011- James’ Christmas Day career-high came this year. He put up 37 on the Dallas Mavericks in his first game of the season. Also added 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals, and 2 blocks. The Big 3 Era Miami Heat got some much needed revenge and beat the Mavericks 105-94.
2014- James returns to Miami to face his former Miami Heat team. His 30 points, 4 rebounds, and 8 assists were not enough to walk away with a victory. First loss on Christmas Day since his rookie season.
2016- James and Cavaliers defeated the Warriors in the final seconds with a Kyrie Irving fadeaway. It snapped James’ Christmas Day losing streak. James had 31 points, 13 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 steals, and a block.
James looks to have not skipped a step and instead taken his game to a higher level this season. This month, James splits are .547/.387/.827 while scoring 29.1 points, 8.3 rebound, and 10.7 assists per game. Expect the King to play at his this level on Monday morning.
LeBron James will embarrass the Warriors and put up a show for fans. Despite this, end results of who wins is still a coin flip.
Grab some food and get comfortable as you can watch basketball all day long. Here is the complete schedule:
Philadelphia 76ers at New York Knicks (ESPN) – 11:00 a.m.
Cleveland Cavalier at Golden State Warriors (ABC)- 2:00 p.m.
Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics (ABC)- 4:30 p.m.
Houston Rockets at Oklahoma City Thunder (ABC)- 8:00 p.m.
Minnesota Timberwolves at Los Angeles Lakers (TNT)-