Catch FOUR games this week on ESPN with THREE NBA Christmas Day games being shown live Boxing Day Australian time. See the Warriors, Clippers, Rockets, Heat, Spurs and more!Last week the NBA continued on ESPN with the Indiana Pacers narrowly defeated by the Miami Heat, the Houston Rockets blown out by the Pacers and the Los Angeles Lakers winning at home against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Lets see what you can look forward to this week with the special Christmas coverage on Foxtel.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Miami Heat Time & Date: Thursday 26th December from Staples Center Coverage: LIVE at 9:00am AEDT Even without Kobe Bryant in the line-up for the Los Angeles Lakers, this Boxing day match-up will not lack star power as the Miami Heat head west to the Staples Center. Since a loss to the Pacers on the 11th of December, the Heat have enjoyed a four game winning streak which included avenging their loss to Indiana as Miami won the game by three points. This game marks the first of four on the road for Miami and they'll want to maintain their streak as a match-up with the red hot Portland Trail Blazers looms before the new year. Playing in the Staples Center always gives players an extra jolt of energy and with it being a Christmas day game in America, a little more satisfaction is taken out for winning in the peak of the holiday season. It would be a mistake to rule out the Lakers from winning this game, there has been more ball movement then we've become accustom to and it's powered the lake show to wins over the Memphis Grizzlies and Minnesota Timberwolves in recent weeks. Watch For: Dwyane Wade and LeBron James. You never know what on court antics they'll get up to when they're in the Staples Center on Christmas day, they love putting on a show on the fast break wherever they are.
San Antonio Spurs vs Houston Rockets Time & Date: Thursday 26th December from AT&T Center Coverage: LIVE at 12:00pm AEDT The top two teams in the Southwest Division square off in San Antonio as the Spurs look to kick start another home winning streak against the Houston Rockets. Five of the last six games for Houston have been on the road and they took an unexpected .500 record from it. Two of those six loses came from the league leading Trail Blazers and Pacers so matching it with the best as been difficult for the Rockets, but winning games like these against the Spurs adds stock to your NBA Title aspirations. That was what the Rockets did against San Antonio earlier this season, they defeated the Spurs in San Antonio with a combined 56 points from James Harden and Chandler Parsons on 19-40 shooting. Dwight Howard has been a man on a mission as of late, his last five games have produced averages of 21.6 points on 68.9 FG%, 12.2 rebounds, 2.6 blocks, 2 assists and a 60.5 FT%. San Antonio have Tim Duncan to anchor the defense which is ranked fourth in points allowed at 95.3 a game. Houston's 106.4 points per game, second highest in the league, will provide an exciting battle of teams playing against their opposing strengths. Watch For: Kawhi Leonard. He was a late scratching for the Spurs game against the Oklahoma City Thunder but when the big three for San Antonio sat, Leonard showed what he could do as a focal point of the offense. More confidence for Kawhi will continue to elevate his game, and in this case James Harden has to combat Leonard's stifling defense.
Golden State Warriors vs Los Angeles Clippers Time & Date: Thursday 26th December from Oracle Arena Coverage: LIVE at 2:30pm AEDT Last time around for the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Clippers it took a career night from Chris Paul to overcome the hot shooting Warriors in the high scoring 126-115 Clipper win. It was a sensational battle from two star point guards in Paul and Steph Curry, Chris Paul posted 42 points, 15 assists and six steals while Curry tried to match with 38 points, nine three pointers and nine assists. This was also a game where DeAndre Jordan got fed up with Aussie Andrew Bogut and they entered into a little bit of a scrimmage that resulted in double technical's. David Lee provided an efficient 22 points and Andre Iguodala 11 assists, but it was Stephen Curry trying to pull his team out and taking a personal battle on with Chris Paul. Golden State can win this game if the team is equally involved, Curry can not out duel Paul in the early stages of his career. Three's from Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala and Harrison Barnes are just as exciting and important as any that Steph Curry make. Watch For: Blake Griffin. Griffin had his way in the paint against Lee and Bogut earlier this season, he's a reliable source of points, rebounds and dunks which makes a game like this full of opportunity for Blake Griffin.
Utah Jazz vs Los Angeles Lakers Time & Date: Saturday 28th December from the EnergySolutions Arena Coverage: LIVE at 1:00pm AEDT Turmoil has plagued the Los Angeles Lakers season since the pre-season, but the adjustment period without Kobe Bryant must be accustomed quickly as they come up against teams like the Utah Jazz. Teams like the Heat, Pacers, Thunder and Blazers have stolen the limelight to begin the season, but the Utah Jazz quietly have a young potential heavy team that will cause problems for the Lakers. Derrick Favors, Enes Kanter and Rudy Gobert are all combined going to compete against the very best front line's in the NBA. Experience will do them a world of good but with little paint presence on the Lakers roster, the big men will be key. Pocket rockets Trey Burke and Alec Burks can run the offense with Gordon Hayward to get their outside shooting and big men down low involved. The Lakers will look for a strong outing from Pau Gasol and some inspiration from Xavier Henry and Nick Young while guards Steve Nash, Steve Blake and Kobe Bryant nurse their injuries. To give Bryant a chance to take the Lakers to the playoffs, these games need to be won against the lower Western Conference teams. Watch For: Nick Young. While the Laker defense may not be up to league standard, the same can be said for the Jazz. Young only needs a couple of consecutive shots to fall before he can catch fire, he's a game changer when he's hot.