Well NBA fans, Christmas came early.
The NBA announced its five-game slate for Christmas Day this year in an official release on Tuesday afternoon, as first reported by Marc Stein. The schedule features 10 of the league’s top teams, making for some exciting match-ups on Dec. 25.
Here’s a look at the full Christmas Day schedule on the ABC/ESPN family of networks:
- Atlanta Hawks at New York Knicks – 12 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks – 2:30 p.m. ET (ABC)
- Golden State Warriors at Phoenix Suns – 5 p.m. ET (ABC)
- Brooklyn Nets at Los Angeles Lakers – 8 p.m. ET (ABC/ESPN)
- Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz – 10:30 p.m ET (ESPN)
The NBA will feature five games on Christmas Day (Saturday, Dec. 25) for the 14th year in a row, with ESPN or ABC televising each matchup. pic.twitter.com/IEvOgFkXCQ
— NBA Communications (@NBAPR) August 17, 2021
Fans will unwrap an early afternoon gift with the first game of the day in the form of an Eastern Conference playoffs rematch between the Atlanta Hawks and the New York Knicks. Trae Young will return to Madison Square Garden to take on the re-tooled Knicks in front of what’s sure to be raucous crowd.
In the second Christmas Day game, the Milwaukee Bucks will welcome in the Boston Celtics for a battle between two of the Eastern Conference’s top teams. Giannis Antetokounmpo will look to build momentum off of this summer’s NBA Finals MVP performance while Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown will try to knock off the defending champs.
This season’s runner-ups, the Phoenix Suns, will be featured in the third match-up on Dec. 25. Devin Booker and Chris Paul will square off against Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors in a battle between star-powered backcourts. Bay Area fans will hope that sharpshooter Klay Thompson is back in action by the time Dec. 25 rolls around.
The Brooklyn Nets and the Los Angeles Lakers, the top two title contenders, will play in the primetime slot on Christmas Day. The Nets superstar trio of Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and James Harden will meet the Lakers newly constructed “Big Three” of LeBron James, Anthony Davis and Russell Westbrook in Staples Center.
In the nightcap, the Utah Jazz will take on the Dallas Mavericks in Salt Lake City. Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert will do their best to slow down Luka Doncic in his second Christmas Day game in two years. The Mavericks fell in a blowout loss last year to the Lakers.
After Tuesday’s schedule release, Christmas Day can’t come soon enough.