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Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal.

Four of the greatest Christmas Day games in NBA history

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The schedule for the 2016-17 NBA season is not yet confirmed but a lot of reports have suggested we are in for another exciting Christmas Day. 

December 25 has become one of the most eagerly-anticipated dates in the regular season calendar and the reports of the Golden State Warriors vs. Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics vs. New York Knicks would make for incredible viewing.

With that in mind, here are four of the greatest games in Xmas Day history.

Bulls 104, Knicks 107 - 1994

In a rematch of the previous season's Eastern Conference finals, the Chicago Bulls and the New York Knicks met on the biggest day of the regular season. 

Having overcome a Michael Jordan-less Bulls to reach the finals - following his sabbatical to play baseball - the Knicks fell to the Houston Rockets, and Chicago was out to enact some semblance of revenge.

In an instant classic, Scottie Pippen showed his incredible best to lead all players with 36 points while shooting 64.7 percent. Toni Kukoc provided 25 off the bench as the Bulls ran out winners in overtime despite the best efforts of Patrick Ewing and Charles Oakley, who scored 30 and 20 respectively.

TONI KUKOC BULLS

Heat 104, Lakers 102 - 2004

Arguably the best Christmas game anyone has ever witnessed. A battle between two former teammates who failed to see eye-to-eye in Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. 

Having won three titles together, Shaq was now with the Miami Heat while the Black Mamba was determined to prove he could do it without the Diesel. 

However, it was O'Neal's young teammate, Dwyane Wade, who stole the show at the Staples Center in the overtime thriller. Kobe shot 40 percent for his 42 points but Wade's 29 points, ten assists and two steals complimented Shaq's 24 points and 11 rebounds.

Los Angeles Lakers v Miami Heat

Celtics 83, Lakers 92 - 2008

During the height of their intense rivalry, the NBA's two most successful franchises went head-to-head in a thrilling game. 

Following Boston's six-game finals win the previous season, the Lakers were looking to throw down a marker in the first game between the two franchise since their defeat. While winning on the day would've been sweet, overcoming them in the finals of 2010 was even sweeter. 

A nine-point win was spearheaded by Bryant and Pau Gasol, who combined for 47 points while shooting 20-37 from the field. Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen tried their utmost best to keep Boston in it, but the benches made the difference as L.A. outscored their visitors by seven.

Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers

Cavaliers 83, Warriors 89 - 2015

After the excitement of the 2015 finals that saw the Golden State Warriors run out 4-2 winners, there was a lot to look forward to ahead of their meeting at the Oracle Arena. 

A number of detractors said the Warriors could not beat the Cavaliers once they had Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving back. However, the Dubs were determined to prove the haters wrong. 

In a relatively low-scoring game, Draymond Green dropped 22 and was a monster on the boards with 15 rebounds. Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry combined for 37. LeBron James led all players with 25 points, Love and Kyrie struggled as they scored 23.

Cleveland Cavaliers v Golden State Warriors

Topics:
NBA
LA Lakers
Pacific Division
Western Conference
New York Knicks
Atlantic Division
Eastern Conference
Miami Heat
Southeast Division
Boston Celtics
Cleveland Cavaliers
Central Division
Golden State Warriors
Chicago Bulls

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