Santa, Lebron, KD, Kyrie, Harden And The NBA Has It Lit On Xmas Day

    This year mark’s the 70th anniversary of NBA games being played on Christmas Day. And they’ve come a long way since that first holiday game back in 1947 when the Knicks defeated the Providence Steamrollers 89-75, as today’s matchups will be seen in more than 200 countries and territories and broadcast in more than 40 languages. 

    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.

    And the highlight of unwrapping these hoops gifts will be the Finals rematch between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the defending champion Golden State Warriors as the teams meet on the holiday for the third consecutive year. 

    2017 NBA Finals FULL Mini-Movie | Warriors Defeat Cavaliers In 5 Games, 4-1

    2017 Finals MVP Kevin Durant & 2X NBA Champion Stephen Curry lead the Golden State Warriors over LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to win the 2017 NBA Finals. Watch an exclusive behind the scenes look at the whole series with the 2017 NBA Finals Mini-Movie.

    The three players who have scored at least 50 points in a game this season will be in action: Washingtons Bradley Beal, Houstons James Harden and Clevelands LeBron James. 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.

    Kobe Bryant is the NBAs career Christmas Day leader in points, having scored 395. Hall of Fame forward Bernard King scored a Christmas Day-record 60 points for New York against the New Jersey Nets in 1984. Golden States 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. New OKC forward Carmelo Anthony has averaged 33.2 points in five Christmas Day games, the highest mark among all players with at least four appearances.

    Today’s lineup is filled with some incredible matchups. Here’s a quick breakdown of what’s on the holiday slate.

    PHILADELPHIA 76ERS @ NEW YORK KNICKS, 12 p.m. ET, ESPN

    The Knicks and 76ers are meeting on Christmas for the first time since 1978, when Dr. J, Mo Cheeks, Doug Collins, Darryl Dawkins and Kobe’s pops, Joe “Jellybean” Bryant ran Earl “The Pearl” Monroe’s crew off the Garden floor.

    Christmas Day 1978

    Dr. J, Henry Bibby, ”Jellybean” Bryant and Doug Collins took the floor against Earl ”The Pearl” and the Knicks.

    Today’s matchup features three potential first-time All-Star selections and international standouts who have unique skill sets relative to their size and position in the 76ers Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons, and the Knicks Kristaps Porzingis

    Both teams have a substantial international presence. 

    Kristaps Porzingis Full Highlights 2017.12.22 at Pistons – 29 Pts, 9 Rebs!

    Like And Subscribe For More! Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/DawkinsMTA Boxscore – http://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=400975222 DISCLAIMER – All clips property of the NBA. No copyright infringement is intended, all videos are edited to follow the “Free Use” guideline of YouTube. __ __

    Five of the 10 projected starters hail from outside the U.S.: Philadelphias Joel Embiid (Cameroon), Dario Saric (Croatia) and Ben Simmons (Australia), and New Yorks Enes Kanter (Turkey) and Kristaps Porzingis (Latvia). Other countries represented on the two rosters are France, Spain and Canada. 

    The Knicks, who have lost two of three after winning four straight, welcome a Philadelphia team that has lost five consecutive games and nine of 10, including Saturday’s 102-86 loss at the Toronto Raptors. Embiid, who has missed five December games for Philadelphia, returned to score 14 points and grab eight rebounds against the Raptors. Porzingis scored 29 points in the Knicks Friday night loss to the Pistons.

    Joel Embiid & Ben Simmons 24 Pts, 13 Rebs, 8 Asts Combined 2017.12.23 at Raptors

    Like And Subscribe For More! Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/DawkinsMTA Boxscore – http://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=400975231 DISCLAIMER – All clips property of the NBA. No copyright infringement is intended, all videos are edited to follow the “Free Use” guideline of YouTube. __ __

    The Knicks have been one of the early season surprises with a record of 17-15. Philly got out the gate hot, but they’ve come crashing back down to earth as of late. But Porzingis going head-to-head against Embiid is not to be missed.

    CLEVELAND CAVALIERS @ GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS, 3 p.m. ET, ABC

    Cleveland and Golden State are meeting for the first time since the 2017 NBA Finals and this is the third consecutive Christmas Day matchup between them. Last years joint was a holiday bonanza as the Cavs rallied from a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit, propelled by LeBron James‘ 31 points and Kyrie Irving‘s game-winning shot with 3.4 seconds left.

    CLE VS GSW | Last 2 Minutes Of NBA Finals Rematch On Christmas Day! 12.25.16

    Here are the last 2 minutes of the Cleveland Cavaliers vs Golden State Warriors NBA Finals rematch on Christmas Day. About the NBA: The NBA is the premier professional basketball league in the United States and Canada.

    Last season, the Cavs and Warriors became the first teams to meet in three straight NBA Finals and the rosters have combined for 55 All-Star selections and eight of the last nine MVP awards. Just let that marinate for a moment.

    They Warriors won their first seven games without their injured point guard Steph Curry, but were held to a season-low 81 points and 3-for-27 on 3-point shooting by Denver in a home loss Saturday night.

    WASHINGTON WIZARDS @ BOSTON CELTICS, 5:30 p.m. ET, ABC

    This is the first meeting between the Celtics and Wizards since their dramatic playoff series in the 2017 Eastern Conference Semifinals, which Boston won in seven games. This year’s Celtics team looks entirely different now, with four new starters trotting out since they last facede the Wizards including 19-year-old Jayson Tatum and 21-year-old Jaylen Brown and yet Boston has gotten off to the NBAs best start.

    The Wizards’ Bradley Beal is making a strong push to be a first-time All-Star selection. He recently scored a career-high 51 points in a game against Portland. 

    Bradley Beal EPIC Full Highlights vs Trail Blazers (2017.12.05) – Career-HIGH 51 Points!

    Become a monster. THE WORLD’S MOST ELITE JUMP PROGRAM: http://goo.gl/RctO1o —- Vintage Channel: https://goo.gl/PzMHpk My Twitter: https://goo.gl/EQbwXz My Facebook: https://goo.gl/385id5 My Instagram: https://goo.gl/1QF2zt —- All clips property of the NBA. No copyright infringement is intended. All videos are edited to follow the “Free Use” guideline of YouTube.

    The Wizards are still trying to figure things out with a record of 18-15, but they scored a season-high 130 points in disposing of the Orlando Magic and have won four of their last six. The Celtics, who had lost two straight and gone just 4-5 over their last nine games, exploded in the second half to run away from the Bulls 117-92.

    These teams have a sincere disdain for one another, and this has the looks of a Eastern Conference rivalry that’s just beginning to warm up.

    HOUSTON ROCKETS @ OKLAHOMA CITY THUNDER, 8 p.m. ET, ABC

    The Rockets and Thunder are meeting for the first time since Houston defeated OKC in five games in the first round of the 2017 playoffs. Russell Westbrook beat out his former teammate James Harden for last year’s MVP award, but Harden has been on a mission this year. 

    The bearded one leads the NBA in scoring and narrowly trails Westbrook for the assists lead. The only player to lead in both categories for a season is Tiny Archibaldin 1972-73. Last season, Harden ranked second in scoring behind Westbrook and was the league leader in assists. 

    James Harden Full Highlights vs Lakers (2017.12.20) – 51 Pts, 9 Assists

    Become a monster. THE WORLD’S MOST ELITE JUMP PROGRAM: http://goo.gl/RctO1o —- Vintage Channel: https://goo.gl/PzMHpk My Twitter: https://goo.gl/EQbwXz My Facebook: https://goo.gl/385id5 My Instagram: https://goo.gl/1QF2zt —- All clips property of the NBA. No copyright infringement is intended. All videos are edited to follow the “Free Use” guideline of YouTube.

    Harden has scored 50-plus points in consecutive games, becoming the first player since Kobe Bryant in March 2007 to accomplish that feat. Bryant had four consecutive 50-point performances during his streak.

    The only other NBA players with back-to-back 50-point performances since 1976 are Michael Jordan, Allen Iverson, Antawn Jamison and Bernard King.

    The Thunder have won four consecutive games and six of their last seven. Despite back-to-back losses, the Rockets have won 20 of its last 23 games and have the NBA’s best record at 25-6.

    MINNESOTA TIMBERWOLVES @ L.A. LAKERS, 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT

    Minnesotas Andrew Wiggins averaged 37.8 points in four games against the Lakers last season, including a career-high 47 points on Nov. 13, 2016, and 41 points on April 9, 2017. The Timberwolves, off to their best start in 14 years and currently sitting fourth in the Western Conference standings, are looking to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004. That season, they lost in the Western Conference Finals to a Lakers team that included current Lakers coach Luke Walton.

    The Lakers are seeking to build around former No. 2 overall draft picks Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball in much the same way that the Timberwolves are bringing along former No. 1 overall draft picks and NBA Rookie of the Year winners Karl-Anthony Towns and Wiggins.

    Lonzo Ball Full Highlights vs Warriors (2017.12.22) – 24 Pts, 5 Reb, 5 Ast, 5 Threes!

    Become a monster. THE WORLD’S MOST ELITE JUMP PROGRAM: http://goo.gl/RctO1o —- Vintage Channel: https://goo.gl/PzMHpk My Twitter: https://goo.gl/EQbwXz My Facebook: https://goo.gl/385id5 My Instagram: https://goo.gl/1QF2zt —- All clips property of the NBA. No copyright infringement is intended. All videos are edited to follow the “Free Use” guideline of YouTube.

    Ball, who is averaging 10 points, 7.1 assists and 6.9 rebounds per game, will miss today’s game due to a sprained shoulder.

    The Lakers are 11-20, but they’ve impressed nonetheless as of late. Eight of its past nine losses were by single digits, including two overtime home defeats to the defending NBA champion Warriors as well as a seven-point setback at Golden State on Friday night. On Wednesday, the Lakers beat the Rockets, 122-116, in Houston. 

    Minnesota entered this season with eight new players on the 15-man roster, and none has been more valuable than Jimmy Butler. He scored 32 points to lead six Minnesota players in double figures in their most recent win against the Suns, and he is averaging a team-high 20.6 points.

    Jimmy Butler & Karl-Anthony Towns 50 Pts Combined 2017.12.20 At Nuggets – CLUTCH JB!

    Like And Subscribe For More! Follow me on Twitter – https://twitter.com/DawkinsMTA Boxscore – http://www.espn.com/nba/boxscore?gameId=400975213 DISCLAIMER – All clips property of the NBA. No copyright infringement is intended, all videos are edited to follow the “Free Use” guideline of YouTube. __ __

    Towns is second on the team at 20.5 points a game. He scored 40 points on 17-of-22 shooting and grabbed 21 rebounds in the Timberwolves’ 110-109 loss to the Lakers last April, the only 40-20 game of his career.