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    Tuesday, December 20, 2022

    The NBA is Back on Christmas Day

    All the games will be available on NBA League Pass.

    This holiday season, the NBA returns for another edition of the NBA on Christmas Day featuring five marquee games and some of the league’s top players and teams. The 10 NBA teams playing on Christmas Day feature a combined 37 international players from 21 countries, including 17 players from Europe, five players from Africa and four players from Australia.

    And it’s not just the quantity of international players but also the quality, as some of the top players in the league – headlined by Greece and Nigeria’s Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Slovenia’s Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Serbia’s Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets) and Cameroon’s Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers) – are set to star for their teams on Christmas Day.

    Philadelphia 76ers @ New York Knicks (19:00 CAT) 

    • The New York and Philadelphia franchises will meet on Christmas Day for the 13th time, the NBA’s most common Dec. 25 matchup (the 76ers lead 7-5). 
    • The Knicks have played the most games on Christmas Day; this will be their 55th. An original NBA franchise, New York played its first game on Christmas Day in 1947 – the same year that the league began playing games on Christmas Day. 
    • 76ers center Joel Embiid appears to be gearing up for another run at the Kia NBA MVP Award after finishing as the runner-up in each of the last two seasons. 

    Los Angeles Lakers @ Dallas Mavericks (21:30 CAT) 

    • The Lakers will play on Christmas Day for the 24th straight year, a streak that began in the 1999-00 season. They have the most all-time victories on the holiday with 24 (their overall record is 24-24).  
    • Four-time Kia NBA MVP LeBron James of Los Angeles is set to play in his 17th game on Christmas Day, which will break a tie with Kobe Bryant for the most appearances in NBA history. James is the career Christmas Day leader in points (422), field goals made (150) and three-pointers made (28), and the co-leader in wins with Dwyane Wade (10 each). 
    • NBA general managers predicted that Dallas guard Luka Dončić would win the 2022-23 NBA MVP Award, per the preseason GM Survey. The 23-year-old guard from Slovenia has looked like a strong MVP contender – and a potential scoring champion – during his spectacular start to the season.  

    Milwaukee Bucks @ Boston Celtics (0:00 CAT – Dec. 26)  

    • Boston and Milwaukee will meet on Christmas Day for the second year in a row, which will also be the first time these two teams play since the 2022 NBA Playoffs, when the Celtics defeated the Bucks in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.  
    • The spirited Celtics-Bucks rivalry from the 1980s has been rekindled in recent years, and Milwaukee forward Giannis Antetokounmpo and Boston forward Jayson Tatum are regarded as early-season contenders for the NBA MVP Award. Last season, they were the forwards on the 2021-22 All-NBA First Team.    

    Memphis Grizzlies @ Golden State Warriors (3:00 CAT – Dec. 26)   

    • Memphis will play a game on Christmas Day for the first time in the franchise’s 28-season history. This follows the Grizzlies’ success last season, when they posted the second-best record in the NBA. 
    • Golden State and Memphis will meet for the first time since the 2022 NBA Playoffs, when the Warriors defeated the Grizzlies in six games in the Western Conference Semifinals. This is the first of four national television matchups between the teams this season.     
    Phoenix Suns @ Denver Nuggets (5:30 CAT – Dec. 26)    
    • Denver and Phoenix will face each other on Christmas Day for the first time. This is the first of four meetings between the teams this season.  
    • Denver center Nikola Jokić and Phoenix shooting guard Devin Booker were members of the 2021-22 Kia All-NBA First Team and selected as the best players at their respective positions in the 2022-23 NBA GM Survey. 
    •  Denver and Phoenix were each projected to finish in the top four of the Western Conference in the 2022-23 NBA GM Survey. Both teams are seeking to win an NBA championship for the first time. The Nuggets have never advanced to the NBA Finals.     
    All the games will be available on NBA League Pass.
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