The 70th edition of the NBA on Christmas Day will tip off in five days. The league’s Dec. 25 schedule (see below), which features five games for the 10th straight season, will be seen in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 40 languages.
Showcasing a record three games on ABC and one each on ESPN and TNT, Christmas Day will include a Finals rematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors as the teams meet on the holiday for the third consecutive year.
The Cleveland-Golden State game is one of next Monday’s three rematches from the NBA Playoffs 2017, along with the Boston Celtics playing host to the Washington Wizards and the Houston Rockets visiting the Oklahoma City Thunder. Additionally, the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers – the NBA’s two winningest franchises on Christmas Day – will play home games against the Philadelphia 76ers and Minnesota Timberwolves, respectively. In all five games, the teams will be meeting for the first time this season.
Here are some numbers highlighting the NBA on Christmas Day, which will mark the start of Week 11 of the 2017-18 season:
395/16 Kobe Bryant is the NBA’s career Christmas Day leader in points (395) and games played (16).
301/76 Cleveland’s LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have each recorded 301 points and 76 assists on Christmas Day, the third-highest all-time totals for both categories.
60 Hall of Fame forward Bernard King scored a Christmas Day-record 60 points for New York against the New Jersey Nets in 1984.
52 New York will play on Christmas Day for an NBA-high 52ndtime.
50 The three players who have scored at least 50 points in a game this season will be in action: Washington’s Bradley Beal, Houston’s James Harden and Cleveland’s LeBron James.
44 Golden State’s Kevin Durant owns the highest-scoring game on Christmas Day among active players, recording 44 points for Oklahoma City against the Denver Nuggets in 2010.
37 Thirty-seven players from outside the U.S. representing 23 countries and six continents are on the rosters of teams playing on Christmas Day. The Celtics have the most international players with six.
33.2 Oklahoma City’s Carmelo Anthony has averaged 33.2 points in five Christmas Day games, the highest mark among all players with at least four appearances.
29 Houston’s Eric Gordon, the 2016-17 Kia NBA Sixth Man Award winner, will celebrate his 29th birthday on Christmas Day.
22 The Knicks and Lakers share the record for most wins on Christmas Day with 22 each.
16 Philadelphia will make its first appearance on Christmas Day in 16 years.
13 Boston, Cleveland and Houston have each had winning streaks of at least 13 games this season – the first time three teams have done this in their first 30 games of the same season. The Rockets extended their current winning streak to 14 games with a 120-99 victory over the Utah Jazz on Dec. 18.
10 Cleveland’s Dwyane Wade has won 10 games on Christmas Day, the most in NBA history.
8 ESPN’s Doris Burke will be a Christmas Day game analyst for the eighth time when she calls Wizards-Celtics on ABC. Burke is the first woman to serve as a regular national NBA game analyst.
4 TNT’s four-person Inside the NBA team – Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Shaquille O’Neal – will call the Lakers-Timberwolves game from Staples Center, joined by reporter Kristen Ledlow. This will be the first live game that all four Inside crew members have called together.
3 Cleveland and Golden State will become the first teams to face each other three consecutive years on Christmas Day since the Los Angeles Lakers and Miami Heat from 2004-06.
2 NBA TV will offer two full days of original programming on Dec. 24-25, including the premiere of Hoops Africa: Ubuntu Matters, a documentary spotlighting basketball’s impact on society and the development of the sport on the African continent (Dec. 24, 1:30 p.m. ET).
1 Boston will play a home game on Christmas Day for the first time. Of the Celtics’ 30 previous games on Christmas, 28 were on the road and two were at a neutral site.
The Cleveland Cavaliers take on the Golden State Warriors as part of a very special NBA Christmas Day. Catch all five NBA Christmas Day games from 5pm live on BT Sport and via NBA LEAGUE PASS at www.nba.tv.
Source: Pitch London
Image: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports