While the Lakers are a familiar participant in the Christmas Day games each year, they appear set to meet an unfamiliar foe for the annual holiday games this season. As one of the highlight games of the slate, the Lakers will meeting the Dallas Mavericks, according to longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein.
The first draft of next season's NBA schedule has Lakers at Dallas/LeBron at Luka on Christmas Day, league sources tell me.— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) August 13, 2022
Changes are still possible before the full schedule officially drops next week but Christmas games usually hold.
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The two teams have had memorable matchups since LeBron joined the purple and gold, including a number of overtime contests. In the title-winning season, the two sides had a memorable game in Dallas with Danny Green’s game-tying 3-pointer as time expired in the fourth quarter sent the game to overtime where the Lakers won.
Last season, the Lakers earned another dramatic win in Dallas with Austin Reaves showing up as the hero in the victory. In eight head-to-head meetings with Luka, LeBron has averaged 27.1 points, 9.0 rebounds and 8.6 assists while shooting 53.2% from the field and 41.3% from beyond the 3-point line. He’s also won six of those contests.
It’s an interesting choice for the game if it is indeed the final selection. While a game with the Nets, on paper, has a lot more drama right now in mid-August, any of Kyrie Irving, Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant could be on a new team come Christmas. Especially if Durant is no longer with Brooklyn, a huge chunk of the expected intrigue disappears from that matchup.
Luka vs. LeBron is a safer bet while also still being a rather fun storyline. Hopefully, it also ends with the Lakers coming away victorious as has predominantly been the case in these showdowns for LeBron.