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NBA NEWS - NBA CHRISTMAS DAY GAME HISTORY FACTS


Boston and Milwaukee will meet for the first time since the 2022 NBA Playoffs, when the Celtics defeated the Bucks in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals - (Keith Allison photo)

 

LeBron James is set to play in his 17 th game on Christmas Day, which will break a tie with Kobe Bryant for the most in NBA history - ( Erik Drost - photo)

 

Bill Russell is seen here in the green uniform guarding Wilt Chamberlain. They had some of the NBA's most classic battles. Russell sadly passed away Sunday at the age of 88 - (US Library of Congress image)

 

On Dec. 22, 1956: In his NBA debut, Boston’s Bill Russell (seen here with his coach Red Auerbauch) finished with six points and 16 rebounds against the St. Louis Hawks - (The Sporting News Archives- photo)

 

 

Kobe Bryant closed out his NBA career as a player as he registered an amazing NBA RECORD 60 point game - (Keith Allison photo)

 

 

 

Quick Fact: Boston and Milwaukee will meet for the first time since the 2022 NBA Playoffs, when the Celtics defeated the Bucks in seven games in the Eastern Conference Semifinals - Did You Know?: The Lakers will play on Christmas Day for the 24th straight year. They have the most all-time victories on the holiday with 24. - Did You Know?: The Mavericks will play a home game on Christmas Day for the second time. Their other home game took place in 2011 - THIS DAY IN THE NBA

 

NEW YORK, N.Y. USA

Monday December 19, 2022

This year marks the 75 th edition of the NBA on Christmas Day. The NBA began playing games on Christmas Day in 1947 in its second season.

• The NBA will have five games on Christmas Day for the 15 th year in a row.

• The NBA on Christmas Day will reach fans in more than 200 countries and territories in more than 50 languages

• For the first time, all five Christmas Day games will air on both ABC and ESPN in the U.S.

• ESPN Radio will air two games: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors.

• The Memphis Grizzlies will play on Christmas Day for the first time in team history.

• The Christmas Day schedule will include two rematches from the 2022 NBA Playoffs: Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics and Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors.

• The Milwaukee Bucks and Boston Celtics will meet on Christmas Day for the second year in a row. Last year, the Bucks rallied from a 19-point deficit to defeat the Celtics.

• Christmas Day rosters will feature seven recipients of the Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Award: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Stephen Curry (Golden State Warriors), James Harden (Philadelphia 76ers), LeBron James (Los Angeles Lakers), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets), Derrick Rose (New York Knicks) and Russell Westbrook (Los Angeles Lakers).

• All five members of the 2021-22 Kia All-NBA First Team are set to play on Christmas Day: Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Devin Booker (Phoenix Suns), Luka Doncic (Dallas Mavericks), Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets) and Jayson Tatum (Boston Celtics).

• LeBron James is set to play in his 17 th game on Christmas Day, which will break a tie with Kobe Bryant for the most in NBA history.

• LeBron James is also the career Christmas Day leader in points (422), field goals made (150) and three-pointers made (28). He is the co-leader in wins with Dwyane Wade (10 each).

• Other career Christmas Day leaders are Bill Russell for rebounds (176), Oscar Robertson for assists (145), Shaquille O’Neal for blocked shots (25) and Russell Westbrook for steals (29).

• Five head coaches who will lead their teams on Christmas Day this season played on the holiday as NBA players: Darvin Ham (head coach of Los Angeles Lakers), Jason Kidd (Dallas Mavericks), Steve Kerr (Golden State Warriors), Doc Rivers (Philadelphia 76ers) and Monty Williams (Phoenix Suns).

• Bernard King scored a Christmas Day-record 60 points for the New York Knicks against the New Jersey Nets in 1984.

• The other two players to score at least 50 points in a game on Christmas Day are Wilt Chamberlain (59 points in 1961) and Rick Barry (50 points in 1966).

• Other single-game leaders on Christmas Day are Wilt Chamberlain for rebounds (36 in 1961); Guy Rodgers and Nate “Tiny” Archibald for assists (18 in 1966 and 1972, respectively); DeAndre Jordan for blocked shots (eight in 2011); Kyrie Irving for steals (seven in 2016); and Patty Mills for three-pointers made (eight in 2021).

• Tracy McGrady has the highest career scoring average on Christmas Day at 43.3 points per game. He scored at least 40 points in each of his three games.

• The Miami Heat has the highest winning percentage among active teams on Christmas Day at .846 (11-2 record). The Portland Trail Blazers have the second-highest winning percentage at .778 (14-4 record).

• The New York Knicks have played the most games on Christmas Day with 54 (entering their game vs. the Philadelphia 76ers this year).


TRIVIA QUESTION:

Which team snapped the 1971-72 Lakers’ NBA-record 33-gamewinning streak?


GO FIGURE

San Antonio is the first team in NBA history to play four consecutive overtime games. The Spurs are 3-1 in those games.


NBA BACK IN THE DAY

Dec. 20, 2005: The Lakers’ Kobe Bryant scored 62 points in three quarters vs. Dallas, leaving the game with one more point than the Mavericks.

Dec. 22, 1956: In his NBA debut, Boston’s Bill Russell finished with six points and 16 rebounds against the St. Louis Hawks.


TRIVIA ANSWER:

The Bucks snapped the Lakers’ NBA-record 33-game winning streak on Jan. 9,1972. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar scored 39 points to lead Milwaukee to a 120-104 win.


THIS DAY IN THE NBA

December 19, 1956 Upon his return from Melbourne, Australia, where he led the U.S. Basketball squad to an Olympic gold medal, Bill Russell signed his first contract with the Boston Celtics.

December 19, 1968 The Detroit Pistons traded Dave DeBusschere to the New York Knicks for Walt Bellamy and Howard Komives. The acquisition of DeBusschere is often credited as providing the last piece to the Knicks’ championship teams of 1970 and 1973. The midseason trade also allowed Bellamy to play in an NBA record 88 games that season with New York and Detroit.

December 19, 1990 Boston’s Kevin McHale scored 23 points in 29 minutes of play, helping the Celtics down Philadelphia 115-105 while reaching the 15,000 point mark for his career.

December 19, 1992 New York’s 91-87 win over Miami at Madison Square Garden gave Knicks Coach Pat Riley his 600th career victory, the 12th coach in NBA history to reach that mark.

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