Celtics to face Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo on Christmas Day


Celtics

The Celtics will play at Christmas for the seventh consecutive season.

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

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

The NBA usually reserves showcase games for Christmas Day. This season, the Celtics and Bucks will face off in their Eastern Conference Semifinals series, which lasted seven games even though the Bucks were without Khris Middleton. During that streak, Antetokounmpo averaged 33.9 points, 14.7 rebounds and 7.1 assists despite fierce defense from 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 crazy playoff. The final minute included a chase block from Robert Williams, which bounced off Wesley Matthews for the go-ahead 3-pointer. Antetokounmpo then blocked Williams on the edge to help clinch the win.

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

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

The Knicks typically get a game on Christmas Day, thanks in large part to name recognition. The Suns – who were widely considered the favorites in the West last season – will have a chance against two-time defending MVP Nikola Jokic. LeBron James will face Luka Doncic in a star game, while Ja Morant and the Grizzlies will face the defending champion Warriors.



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