Celtics

Celtics will face Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo on Christmas Day

The Celtics will play on Christmas for the seventh straight season.

Jayson Tatum
Jayson Tatum of the Celtics handles the ball against Giannis Antetokounmpo. Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

The Celtics will once again play on Christmas Day this upcoming season, hosting the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo in a marquee matchup for the second consecutive year, according to Shams Charania.

The NBA typically reserves showcase games for Christmas Day. This season, the Celtics and Bucks will rematch their Eastern Conference semifinal series, which went seven games even though the Bucks were without Khris Middleton. During that series, Antetokounmpo averaged a staggering 33.9 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 7.1 assists despite staunch defense by both Al Horford and Grant Williams.

On Christmas Day last year, the Celtics lost to the Bucks 117-113 after blowing a 19-point lead in a wild finish. The final minute included a chase-down block by Robert Williams, which bounced out to Wesley Matthews for the go-ahead 3-pointer. Antetokounmpo later blocked Williams at the rim to help clinch the victory.

The Celtics have played in six consecutive Christmas Day games, including matchups against the Wizards, Nets, 76ers and Knicks. They are 3-3 in those games.

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Other Christmas Day games will include 76ers at Knicks, Suns at Nuggets, Lakers at Mavericks, and Grizzlies at Warriors, per Charania.

The Knicks generally get a Christmas Day game, largely on the strength of their name recognition. The Suns — who were widely considered the favorites in the West last season — will get a crack at two-time defending MVP Nikola Jokic. LeBron James will take on Luka Doncic in a star-powered matchup, while Ja Morant and the Grizzlies will face the defending champion Warriors.

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