The NBA has been synonymous with Christmas Day for nearly eight decades. The 2022-23 campaign will mark the 75th edition of the NBA on Christmas Day. Every year dating back to 1947, there has been at least one NBA game played on Dec. 25 to keep us entertained during the holiday season with ESPN or ABC televising each matchup. That annual tradition will continue this year with five star-studded games on Christmas. So, which teams are playing on NBA Christmas Day 2022?
The Dec. 25 action will tip off on ESPN as the Knicks host the 76ers (noon ET). The next three games will air on both ESPN and ABC, with the Lakers visiting the Mavericks (2:30 p.m. ET), the Celtics hosting the Bucks in a 2022 Eastern Conference Semifinals rematch (5 p.m. ET), and the Grizzlies making their Christmas Day debut when they visit the Warriors in a 2022 Western Conference Semifinals rematch (8 p.m. ET). The Christmas Day schedule will conclude with the Nuggets meeting the Suns in Denver on ESPN (10:30 p.m. ET).
Below are some notable facts and figures about both this year's Christmas Day games and some tidbits from Christmas Day games past.
Details on Christmas Day games
The NBA will showcase five games on Christmas Day 2022 for the 15th year in a row, and we’ll see a ton of familiar teams and players that are regularly featured on primetime during the holidays.
To start us off, the red-hot New York Knicks will host the Philadelphia 76ers at Madison Square Garden. Both teams have rebounded from slow starts and find themselves near the top of the Eastern Conference standings as we inch closer to 2023.
Next up The best player of this generation will face his potential successor as their teams scrap for a spot in the play-in scenario! That last phrase wasn't part of the plan for James and Doncic, but that's the reality for the Lakers and Mavericks as the season nears the midway point. Nevertheless, it's a marquee viewing experience when two of the league's premier talents match up, one in his 20th season and the other 23 years old. Doncic has matched up with James, one of his idols while growing up in Europe, eight times, with the Mavs winning only two of those meetings..
The middle game is by far the most intriguing matchup of the day, as the The Bucks and Celtics will meet for the first time since their seven-game series in the second round of last season's playoffs, during which Boston prevailed en route to an appearance in the NBA Finals. Milwaukee and Boston appear on a collision course once again. The teams own the two best records in the league, and both will have a key player available in this game who was absent during that playoff series. The Bucks will have one of their best perimeter players back on the court for this matchup after Khris Middleton missed all of last year's playoff series, and the Celtics will have big man Robert Williams III anchoring their defense after a left knee injury in Game 3 forced him to miss the final four games of the series.
The night slate begins with the Golden State Warriors hosting the Memphis Grizzlies. This would be a fascinating point guard matchup between Stephen Curry and Ja Morant, but Curry won't be suiting up due to a shoulder injury.
Which Team is the King of NBA Christmas Day?
Over the 74-year history of NBA Christmas Day games, no team has been featured more than the New York Knicks. The Knicks have played 54 games on Dec. 25, while no other team has played more than 48. Although New York has played the most games on Christmas, it doesn't hold the record for the most wins.
That title belongs to the Los Angeles Lakers, who are 24-24 in 48 Christmas Day appearances. The Knicks have 23 wins, and the Philadelphia 76ers and Sacramento Kings each have 18 wins.