While fans across the country are looking forward to this rematch of last season’s NBA Finals, LeBron James and Kevin Durant downplayed its significance.
Both are simply focused on leading their respective team to victory.
There figures to be plenty of fireworks Christmas Day as the defending champion Miami Heat and NBA-leading Oklahoma City Thunder square off in South Beach.
After dropping Game 1 of the Finals, Miami (18-6) took four straight from Oklahoma City (21-5) to win the second title in franchise history. Though many are eager to see how the Heat and Thunder stack up this season, neither team is buying into the hype.
Houston @ Chicago 8 p.m. ET
After tearing apart the NBA’s No. 1 scoring defense, the Houston Rockets are looking for a repeat performance against another such squad.
The Rockets will try to duplicate their fast-paced formula on Christmas Day when they visit the Chicago Bulls, who hope to get back on track following their second-worst loss of the season.
While the Bulls are 7-0 all-time at home on Christmas, they’ll first have to find a way to slow down the league’s top offense (105.4 per game) after Houston (14-12) ran past Memphis 121-96 on Saturday night for its third straight win.
Denver @ LA Clippers 10:30 p.m. ET
Playing at an unprecedented level, the Los Angeles Clippers keep taking the franchise further into uncharted territory.
The Denver Nuggets, however, would like to end their historic run while continuing their own recent surge.
The Clippers hope to celebrate a 14th consecutive win on Christmas Day when they host the Nuggets, who have won four of their last five contests.
Los Angeles (21-6) extended its franchise-record run and snapped a 10-game losing streak in Phoenix with a 103-77 rout Sunday. The Clippers have won by an average of 15.7 points during their streak, also setting a club record with six straight road wins.