LeBron James Vs. Miami Heat
Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James (C) challenges Miami Heat's Norris Cole (L) and Udonis Haslem during their NBA Global Games Rio 2014 basketball game in Rio de Janeiro October 11, 2014. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes

There’s one sport we can always count on while unwrapping presents on Christmas Day: basketball. This year is no different as the NBA has loaded their sled with basketball gifts for the holidays. Thursday’s festive day of celebration features numerous high profile matches as well as some of your favorite teams. There will be plenty of storylines, drama and intrigue under the NBA tree this year and we’re just the publication to bring it to you. So without further ado, here is the NBA’s Christmas Day Schedule complete with viewing information and previews:

Washington Wizards vs. New York Knicks

The NBA’s slate of games opens up under the bright lights of the big apple. The Washington Wizards come to town against the lowly New York Knicks in a matchup that probably looked a lot better before the season began than it does now. The Knicks are in shambles under first year President of Basketball Operations Phil Jackson and head coach Derek Fisher. The team has been unable to figure out the triangle offense and are just above the Philadelphia 76ers for last place in the Eastern Conference.

The game will have plenty of star power however as Carmelo Anthony and Amar’e Stoudemire face Paul Piece, John Wall and Bradley Beal. The game will be a statement game for the Wizards who you won’t usually find playing on national TV. Look for them to make their mark by beating the Knicks soundly on Christmas Day as they battle for playoff seeding in the East.

When: 12:00 PM EST Where: Madison Square Garden Network: ESPN Betting Odds: TBD

San Antonio Spurs vs. Oklahoma City Thunder

Christmas Day’s second game features a rematch of the Western Conference finals when the Spurs travel to Oklahoma City to tackle the Thunder. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook are back from early season injuries and the Thunder have risen from the ashes to find themselves just a game out of the playoffs in the Western Conference.

The game could be a sneak peak of the 2015 Western Conference finals or even a first round playoffs matchup depending what seed the Thunder get when the season ends. The matchup of Tim Duncan vs. Kevin Durant and the point guard battle between Russell Westbrook and Tony Parker will be worth the price of admission alone.

When: 2:30 PM EST Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena Network: ABC Betting Odds: TBD

Tim Duncan vs. Kevin Durant
San Antonio Spurs forward, Tim Duncan guards Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant as he drives to the basket. Reuters

Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Miami Heat

This Christmas LeBron James is bringing his talents back to South Beach. This third game on the NBA’s Christmas Day schedule might be the most anticipated Christmas Day game since Shaq vs. Kobe. It will be the first regular season game between LeBron and his former Miami Heat teammates Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.

The reunion of the “Big Three” is sure to be exciting as Cleveland has been inconsistent on the season and Miami who has been riddled with injuries needs everyone to stay alive. Pat Riley will want to show LeBron what a mistake “The King” made in leaving the Heat and we know he will have his team ready to show the world that Miami has not waived the white flag yet in the post-LeBron era.

When: 5:00PM EST Where: American Airlines Arena Network: ABC Betting Odds: TBD

Los Angeles Lakers vs. Chicago Bulls

The NBA’s most storied franchise the Los Angeles Lakers will make their 16th consecutive Christmas Day appearance when they visit old teammate Pau Gasol. Competitively, the Bulls are much better this season than the Lakers who have struggled under first year head coach Byron Scott.

These two teams played in a classic on Christmas Day in 2011 and ironically, Derrick Rose hit the game winning shot over the out stretched arm of Pau Gasol, his new running mate. It will be Kobe’s first game against his friend and former teammate Gasol and you know the “Black Mamba” loves the opportunity to showcase his talents on national TV.

When: 8:00PM EST Where: United Center Network: ABC Betting Odds: TBD

Kobe Bryant and Pau Gasol
Kobe Bryant shown here with former Los Angeles Lakers teammate Pau Gasol will face off for the first time as opponents on Christmas Day Reuters

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Golden State Warriors

In another rematch of last year’s Western Conference playoffs, the Clippers and Warriors take the court in the NBA’s Christmas Day finale. The swan song might turn out to be the best game of the day as it features two young, high-octane offensive teams who can score points in bunches.

The stars will most certainly come out at Staples Center both on the court and off as the game features the “Splash Brothers” of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. They go up against “Lob City” featuring one of the NBA’s best point guards in Chris Paul as he throws alley-oop dunks to Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan. In addition to being an entertaining game to watch, both teams will be jockeying for Western Conference supremacy as the Warriors are currently in first place in the Western Conference and the Clippers are currently in sixth.

When: 7:30PM EST Where: Staples Center Network: ABC Betting Odds: TBD

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