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Historic NBA records on Christmas day

Meet the all-time record holders for NBA Christmas games: Bernard King, LeBron James, Nate Archibald and Wilt Chamberlain.

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Meet the all-time record holders for NBA Christmas games: Bernard King, LeBron James, Nate Archibald and Wilt Chamberlain.

The NBA will celebrate Christmas 2022 with games between the Philadelphia 76ers vs. New York Knicks, Los Angeles Lakers vs. Dallas Mavericks, Milwaukee Bucks vs. Boston Celtics, Memphis Grizzlies vs. Golden State Warriors, and Phoenix Suns vs Denver Nuggets.

Here are some historic NBA records set during Christmas games, which debuted in 1947.

Tracking Santa this Christmas Eve

Most points scored

Bernard King was an NBA legend after a 14-year career, but his best years were spent with the New York Knicks as he was named an All-Star in three of the four seasons he spent there. During the 1984 season, the Knickerbockers faced the then-New Jersey Nets and the Hall of Famer set the record for points in a Christmas game after scoring 60. The small forward made 19 of his 30 shots and made 22 of 26 free throws.

Assists leader

The record for assists is shared by Nate Archibald and Guy Rodgers. Archibald, the Kings’ legendary point guard, recorded 18 assists in the 1972 Christmas game that pitted then-Kansas City against the Milwaukee Bucks. For his part, Rodgers, who was a player for the Bulls in 1966, accumulated 18 against the Knicks.

King of rebounds

Wilt Chamberlain dominated the NBA during the 1960s and the first half of the 1970s. During the 1961-62 season, Chamberlain’s third in the NBA, the center faced the Knicks on Christmas Day and recorded 59 points and 36 rebounds, both league records in a game on December 25. However, the record for rebounds has not been surpassed even sixty years later.


Most Yuletide appearances

The Knicks are the team that has played the most times on Christmas day with 54 appearances, and this year they will make it 55. In the matter of individual appearances, LeBron James will be the leader when he faces Luka Doncic. The four-time NBA champion will pass Kobe Bryant with his 17th appearance.

On the other side of the spectrum are teams Memphis and Charlotte. The Grizzlies will play for the first time on Christmas. Aside from them, the Hornets are the only team that has never played on December 25.

Most repeated match

When the 76ers and the Knicks meet at Madison Square Garden, it will be the 13th time for the franchises to meet. Philadelphia and New York played on Christmas 1953, 1954, 1957, 1960, 1962, 1968, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978, and 2017. At the moment, those from the city of brotherly love have the advantage with seven victories to five losses.


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