Cleveland Cavaliers-Golden State Warriors NBA Finals Rematch Highlights ABC’s & ESPN’s Five-Game NBA Christmas Slate


Cleveland Cavaliers-Golden State Warriors NBA Finals Rematch Highlights ABC’s & ESPN’s Five-Game NBA Christmas Slate

Seventh Christmas Day for Team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy & Mark Jackson
Two Episodes of NBA Countdown Including the Return of Earvin “Magic” Johnson to ABC
NBA Countdown Host Michelle Beadle Works First Christmas in New Role
Additional Viewing Experiences on ESPN3 to Include Pre-game Warmups, Surround DataCenter & Surround Multiview

The tradition continues as Christmas will be home to the NBA on ABC and ESPN for the 15th consecutive season. On Sunday, Dec. 25, ABC and ESPN will combine to present over 13 consecutive hours of NBA action over five games, highlighted by the much-anticipated rematch of the most-watched NBA Finals in ABC history – the Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James and Kyrie Irving host the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant – at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC.

The NBA Finals broadcast team of Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson will call their seventh Christmas day together and will handle Cavaliers-Warriors duties with sideline reporter Lisa Salters. NBA Countdown, featuring the return to ABC of Earvin “Magic” Johnson, precedes the game at 2 p.m. ET alongside Michelle Beadle, hosting her first NBA Countdown on Christmas, Jalen Rose and Chauncey Billups.

In the second game within ABC’s afternoon doubleheader, the Chicago Bulls and Dwyane Wade will visit the San Antonio Spurs and Pau Gasol, at 5 p.m. Mark Jones and Naismith Basketball Hall of Famer Hubie Brown will provide commentary. Israel Gutierrez will serve as the sideline reporter.

The five-game Christmas slate tips off at 12 p.m. (noon) when the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony host the Boston Celtics and Isaiah Thomas at Madison Square Garden. Ryan Ruocco and Curt Gowdy award-winner Doug Collins will call the action with sideline reporter Cassidy Hubbarth.

ESPN will also televise a prime-time Christmas night doubleheader, as the Oklahoma City Thunder and triple-double king Russell Westbrook host the Minnesota Timberwolves and Karl-Anthony Towns.  Adam Amin will call his first Christmas game with analyst Doris Burke. In the final game of the day, the LA Clippers visit the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time this season. Dave Pasch will handle play-by-play with analyst Jon Barry and sideline reporter J.A. Adande.

Spanish-language simulcast of Clippers-Lakers
To complement ESPN Deportes’ coverage of the NBA during Christmas Day and in an effort to serve a broader Hispanic audience, ESPN2 will simulcast ESPN Deportes’ Spanish-language coverage of the LA Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers telecast.

Alternate viewing experiences on ESPN3
Throughout the day, ESPN will create several alternate viewing experiences for its NBA Christmas games on ESPN3 and WatchESPN. For the three ESPN telecasts, ESPN3 will air the games utilizing NBA Surround DataCenter, which will include graphic displays of in-game data, stats and information. For the ABC doubleheader, ESPN3 will implement NBA Surround Multiview, which will feature unique and alternative camera angles for the games.  All five Christmas games will include live, in-arena pre-game coverage beginning 45 minutes prior to the tip, on ESPN3.

Additionally, Christmas coverage will include the following production highlights:

  • New Christmas broadcast open featuring music from recording artist Holidelic;
  • Use of I-MOVIX cameras;
  • Mic’d players.

‘Magic’ is back for NBA Countdown, Beadle’s first NBA Christmas
For the first time, two editions of NBA Countdown will air on Christmas. NBA Countdown on ESPN will tip off the day of coverage at 11:30 a.m. with host Michelle Beadle and analysts Jalen Rose and Chauncey Billups. Also at 2 p.m. on ABC, NBA Countdown will air, leading into the NBA Finals rematch. Magic Johnson will return to the company as an analyst, to join Beadle, Rose and Billups for analysis.

Full schedule:

Time (ET) Telecast Network(s)
11:30 a.m. NBA Countdown

Michelle Beadle, Jalen Rose, Chauncey Billups

ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
12 p.m. Boston Celtics at New York Knicks

Ryan Ruocco, Doug Collins, Cassidy Hubbarth

ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
2 p.m. NBA Countdown

Michelle Beadle, Magic Johnson, Jalen Rose, Chauncey Billups

2:30 p.m. Golden State Warriors at Cleveland Cavaliers

Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters

ABC, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio
5 p.m. Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs

Mark Jones, Hubie Brown, Israel Gutierrez

ABC, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN, ESPN Radio
8 p.m. Minnesota Timberwolves at Oklahoma City Thunder

Adam Amin, Doris Burke

ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
10:30 p.m. LA Clippers at Los Angeles Lakers

Dave Pasch, Jon Barry, J.A. Adande

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3, WatchESPN, ESPN Deportes


All five Christmas games will also air on ESPN Deportes and stream via WatchESPN. Both ABC games will air on ESPN Radio. Additionally, ESPN International networks will carry the full Christmas schedule across South America, Central America and Mexico, the Caribbean (all islands other than Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), and the Pacific Rim.


Media contacts: Ben Cafardo at 860-766-3496 or [email protected]. On twitter: @Ben_ESPN

Gianina Thompson at 860-766-7022 or [email protected]. On twitter: @Gianina_ESPN


Ben Cafardo

I lead communications strategy and execution for ESPN’s NBA, MLB, FIBA and Little League World Series properties. I’m also a proud consumer of all things ESPN.
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