NBA 2018-19 Christmas Day schedule: Lakers-Warriors, Sixers-Celtics, Thunder-Rockets highlight holiday slate

The NBA schedule for nationally televised games during the first week of the 2018-19 season, along with Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day games, was officially released on Wednesday. Opening week will have a strong mix of established and up-and-coming teams, while the holidays put the superstars and top teams in action.

Christmas Day, however, is the jewel of the NBA regular season, and this year will be no exception. The biggest game of the Christmas slate will be LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers taking on the defending champion Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The Houston Rockets, who had the NBA's best record last season, will take on Russell Westbrook, Paul George and the Oklahoma City Thunder.

Two of the league's best young teams, the Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers, will also meet, and the Milwaukee Bucks will face the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden to kick things off. The final game of the night will feature two playoff contenders out West, the Utah Jazz and the Portland Trail Blazers. Here's the full schedule.

NBA 2018-19 Christmas Day schedule

  • 12 p.m. ET: Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks (ESPN)
  • 3 p.m. ET: Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets (ABC)
  • 5:30 p.m. ET: Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics (ABC)
  • 8 p.m. ET: Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors (ABC/ESPN)
  • 10:30 p.m. ET: Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz (ESPN)

LeBron facing the Warriors has become a holiday tradition, as he has played Golden State on Christmas the last three seasons as a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers. The 76ers and Celtics also have a renewed rivalry, with Boston eliminating Philly in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season. The Bucks and the Knicks each have one of the most exciting young players in the NBA -- Giannis Antetokounmpo for Milwaukee and Kristaps Porzingis for New York -- but Porzingis' status will likely be up in the air as he recovers from ACL surgery.

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