Lakers-Mavs, Grizz-Warriors headline reported NBA Christmas games

The games for the biggest day of the NBA’s regular-season calendar are reportedly set. 

On Christmas Day, the defending champion Golden State Warriors will play host to the Memphis Grizzlies, the Milwaukee Bucks and Celtics will face off in Boston, and LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers will head to Texas to face Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks, The Athletic’s Shams Charania and others reported in recent days.

Also, two-time defending MVP Nikola Jokic and the Denver Nuggets will play host to the Phoenix Suns and the Philadelphia 76ers will play the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden. 

Two of the Christmas Day games are rematches from this past postseason. The Warriors defeated the Grizzlies in six games in the Western Conference semifinals in May, though Memphis star Ja Morant didn’t play in the final three games of the series. Players from both teams engaged in a Twitter back and forth in the days following Golden State’s NBA Finals win, with Morant asking the league to face the defending champions on Christmas. 

Green also seemed excited, tweeting “That’s the power of your voice Young! Let’s goooo! Bring the fam to the crib for dinner after.”

The Bucks-Celtics game is a rematch of the Eastern Conference semifinals series that went seven games, which Boston won. 

The Lakers-Mavericks game will mark the second time in the past three seasons the two teams have played each other on Christmas. Los Angeles won in 2020. 

Phoenix and Denver met in the playoffs in 2021, which ended in a sweep for Devin Booker and Chris Paul’s Suns. The Nuggets didn’t have Jamal Murray for that series though and should have him back by the start of the regular season.

The 76ers-Knicks game will be the first Christmas game for the Joel Embiid-James Harden duo, while it’ll be the 55th for New York, an NBA record. Harden expressed excitement about the reported game on Twitter. 

Meanwhile, Hawks star Trae Young seemingly expressed disappointment that his team isn’t on the reported slate, tweeting out several emojis showing his disapproval. 

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