Here is what you need to know before the Lakers’ Christmas Day clash with the Golden State Warriors.
1) It’s Bron’s fourth Xmas clash with the Warriors
For the fourth straight Christmas, LeBron James will face off against Golden State in a Finals rematch.
James — who has gone 8-4 on Christmas — ranks third on the holiday’s scoring list with 321 points in his career. With four more assists, he will pass Lakers legend Kobe Bryant for the second-most on Dec. 25.
LeBron has dominated in Christmas past, including four 30-point games, four double-doubles and a triple-double (at the Lakers’ expense in 2010).
We’ll see what he has in store in Christmas future, as he makes his Lakers Navidad debut.
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 23, 2018
2) Lakers have a chance to become the NBA’s premier Christmas team
Fans across the world make the Lakers part of their Christmas traditions, as the purple and gold will make their 20th straight appearance on Christmas Day.
With a win over the Warriors, the Lakers would capture their 23rd Christmas win of all-time. Paired with a New York loss to Milwaukee, the Lakers would then own the most wins on Christmas in NBA history.
LeBron — who has played in 12 straight Dec. 25 games — obviously has plenty of experience on this stage. Meanwhile, Kyle Kuzma had himself a game last Christmas, dropping 31 points, the most by a rookie on the holiday since … LeBron James.
Kyle Kuzma erupted for 31 points on Christmas night, moving him to the top spot among the NBA’s rookie scoring leaders.https://t.co/kUzdfn0zXM
— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) December 27, 2017
3) The champs are on the rise
Golden State is in back-to-back championship form, winning eight of its last 10 games. And it’s coming off an impressive victory, beating the LA Clippers on Sunday, despite allowing them to shoot 18-of-23 from 3-point range.
The Warriors were led by the elite scoring duo of Stephen Curry — who went off for 42 points — and Kevin Durant — who poured in 35 more. Curry was also clutch, hitting the game-winning layup with just 0.5 seconds left.
The Lakers, meanwhile, are on the mend, as JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler could miss another game.
Ivica Zubac has played well in back-to-back games as starting center, totaling 35 points on 16-of-22 shooting with 15 rebounds and six blocks.
But the Lakers will need some extra firepower against Golden State’s top-ranked offense.
Lakers: Tyson Chandler (back spasms) is questionable. JaVale McGee (flu-like symptoms/respiratory infection) is doubtful. Michael Beasley (personal reasons) is out. Isaac Bonga, Alex Caruso and Johnathan Williams are on G League assignment.
Warriors: Kevin Durant (left ankle sprain) is probable. DeMarcus Cousins (left Achilles rehab), Jacob Evans (left foot contusion) and Damian Jones (left pectoral surgery) are out.
Tip-Off: 5 p.m. PT
TV: ABC and ESPN
Radio: 710 ESPN and 1330 KWKW
Unis: Purple City
Location: Oracle Arena — Oakland, California
Source: Los Angeles Lakers