A Holiday Tradition Continues: ESPN & ABC Combine to Televise All Five NBA Games on Christmas


A Holiday Tradition Continues: ESPN & ABC Combine to Televise All Five NBA Games on Christmas

Plus, ESPN to Televise LeBron James’ Home Debut with Los Angeles Lakers Vs. Houston Rockets and Reigning M.V.P. James Harden on October 20

More Christmas Action:  Defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors to Host Los Angeles Lakers as Kevin Durant & Stephen Curry Renew Rivalry with LeBron James

Clash of Two Most Recent M.V.P.s: Houston Rockets & James Harden to Host Oklahoma City Thunder & Russell Westbrook

Eastern Conference Showdown: Boston Celtics to Host Philadelphia 76ers

A holiday tradition continues on Christmas, Tuesday, December 25, as ESPN and ABC combine to televise all five NBA games across approximately 13 consecutive hours of coverage. It marks the 17th consecutive time that ESPN and ABC have been home to the NBA on Christmas. The blockbuster schedule will include one of the most anticipated games of the season as the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors, led by Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry, host the Los Angeles Lakers, now led by LeBron James. The game airs at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN and will be simulcast on ABC. It marks the first Warriors vs. Lakers game of the season. In addition to a stellar Christmas schedule, ESPN will televise five prime-time opening week games, starting Wednesday, October 17, and culminating on Saturday, October 20, when LeBron James makes his home debut as the Lakers welcome the Houston Rockets and reigning M.V.P. James Harden to the Staples Center. The telecast airs at 10:30 p.m.

The Christmas Day slate tips off at noon on ESPN when the Milwaukee Bucks make their first Christmas appearance since 1977 as Giannis Antetokounmpo leads them into Madison Square Garden for a matchup with the New York Knicks and Kevin Knox. Following the Bucks-Knicks game, at 3 p.m. the Houston Rockets and James Harden will host the Oklahoma City Thunder and Russell Westbrook in a matchup featuring the two most recent M.V.P.s, on ABC. Christmas action continues at 5:30 p.m. on ABC when the Boston Celtics and Kyrie Irving host the Philadelphia 76ers and Joel Embiid in a clash of Eastern Conference powerhouses. The five-game slate concludes when the Utah Jazz make their first Christmas appearance since 1997 as Donovan Mitchell and his teammates host the Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN.


Time (ET) Telecast Platform
11 a.m. NBA Countdown ESPN, ESPN App
12 p.m. Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks ESPN, ESPN App
2:30 p.m. NBA Countdown ABC, ESPN App
3 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets ABC, ESPN App
5:30 p.m. Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics ABC, ESPN App
8 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors ESPN, ABC, ESPN App
10:30 p.m. Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz ESPN, ESPN App

 ESPN’s first regular-season telecasts are Wednesday, October 17, at 8 p.m. as the New Orleans Pelicans and Anthony Davis visit the Houston Rockets and Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul. Then at 10:30 p.m. the Dallas Mavericks will visit the Phoenix Suns and number one NBA Draft pick Deandre Ayton. Additionally, the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and Eastern Conference heavyweights, the Boston Celtics and the Toronto Raptors will also compete on ESPN during the first week of the season. All NBA games on ESPN are full national telecasts and are available via the ESPN App. Also, all of ESPN’s NBA games on Christmas and during opening week will air in Spanish on ESPN Deportes.

Date Time (ET) Telecast Platform
Wed, Oct. 17 7 p.m. NBA Countdown ESPN, ESPN App
8 p.m. New Orleans Pelicans at Houston Rockets ESPN, ESPN App
10:30 p.m. Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns ESPN, ESPN App
Fri, Oct. 19 7 p.m. NBA Countdown ESPN, ESPN App
8 p.m. Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors ESPN, ESPN App
10:30 p.m. Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz ESPN, ESPN App
Sat, Oct. 20 10:30 p.m. Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers ESPN, ESPN App



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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