NBA Christmas Day

NBA Christmas Day 2019: Los Angeles Lakers Christmas Day primer

For the 46th time in the franchise's history, the Los Angeles Lakers will play on Christmas Day.

Their opponent this season? The LA Clippers, who defeated the Lakers on opening night.

Ahead of the matchup, here's everything you need to know about the Lakers on Christmas Day...

The most Christmas Day wins

The New York Knicks have played the most Christmas Day games in NBA history, but the Lakers have the most wins.

Los Angeles is 23-22 all time compared to 22-31 for New York.

The Lakers and Knicks are the only franchises in the NBA to have 20 or more wins on Christmas Day.

Franchise records

Lakers records on Christmas Day
Record Player Opponent Season
47 points Jerry West New York Knicks 1963-64
22 rebounds Wilt Chamberlain Boston Celtics 1970-71
12 assists Nick Van Exel Phoenix Suns 1996-97

The last time they played

The Lakers played on Christmas Day last season.

They defeated the Golden State Warriors, who had their core of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant and Draymond Green in uniform, by a final score of 127-101, but they lost LeBron James to an injury after only 21 minutes.

James exited the game with 17 points, 13 rebounds and five assists. Rajon Rondo helped the Lakers get the win in LeBron's absence with a 15-point, 10-assist double-double.

With the win, the Lakers improved to 20-14 on the season. They were never able to get back on track and finished 37-45, missing the playoffs for the sixth straight season.

The King's holiday

This will be the 14th time James has played on Christmas Day in his NBA career. Only one player has taken the court more times on the holiday than James: Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, who played 16 times on Christmas Day.

James made his Christmas Day debut as a rookie. Although the Cleveland Cavaliers lost to the Orlando Magic, James came to play, pouring in 34 points on 13-for-28 shooting from the field.

That was the second-most points James has ever scored on Christmas Day. The most? 37 points, which he did in 2011 in a win over the Dallas Mavericks.

James also has recorded four double-doubles on Christmas Day, as well as one triple-double.

James is averaging 26.0 points, 7.7 rebounds and 6.7 assists per game on Christmas Day with a 9-4 record.

With one more victory, James would tie his former teammate Dwyane Wade for the most wins all-time on Christmas Day.

Other Lakers on Christmas Day

This will be only the second time Anthony Davis has played on Christmas Day. In his debut, he had 29 points and 15 rebounds. Despite his double-double, the New Orleans Pelicans lost to the Miami Heat in overtime.

Kyle Kuzma has already played twice on Christmas Day. In his Christmas Day debut, he scored 31 points on 6-for-11 shooting from the 3-point range, tying Kevin Love and Ryan Anderson's record for most 3-pointers made on the holiday.

Rajon Rondo's best performance on Christmas Day came in 2011, when he scored 31 points and dished out 13 assists in a loss to the Knicks. This will be Rondo's seventh time playing on Christmas Day.

This will be the eighth time Dwight Howard has played on Christmas Day. He's one of only three players - the others being Clint Capela and Enes Kanter - who have grabbed 20 or more rebounds on Christmas Day. Howard has done it twice, while Capela and Kanter have each done it once.

The opponent

The Clippers are 6-9 all-time on Christmas Day. Their most recent appearance came in 2016, when they lost to the Lakers by nine points. There isn't a player who played in that game that is still on the roster.

The Lakers and Clippers have already played once this season. On opening day, Kawhi Leonard led the Paul George-less Clippers to victory with a game-high 30 points.

Can the Clippers make it 2-1 against the Lakers this season or will the Lakers even the series?

Tune in on Christmas Day to find out.

The views expressed here do not represent those of the NBA or its clubs.

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