NBA Christmas Day: Embiid, Dončić, Jokić highlight holiday slate – Trending News

NBA Christmas Day: Embiid, Dončić, Jokić highlight holiday slate

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The holiday is here, and five must-see matchups are on the NBA slate — and our panel of reporters is watching every second!

Follow along on Christmas Day, as Yaron Weitzman, Ric Bucher and Melissa Rohlin share their major takeaways from each primetime contest.

Philadelphia 76ers 119, New York Knicks 112

Current standing: The Sixers are now 20-12 and currently on an eight-game win streak. The Knicks now fall to 18-16, and have lost three in a row.

Key stats: Joel Embiid continued to stake his claim as the best player in the game. He is leading the league in scoring and put up 35 in Sunday’s win.

Major takeaway: Still to come!

Los Angeles Lakers @ Dallas Mavericks

Los Angeles Lakers

LAL

Dallas Mavericks

DAL

Current standing: Both L.A. and Dallas have underwhelmed this season. The Lakers are 13-19 and have lost three straight. They are 13th in the West and in danger of missing the playoffs for the second consecutive season. The Mavs are eighth in the West at 17-16, and have gone 5-5 in their last 10.

Key stats: Luka Dončić is everything for Dallas. He leads the team in points (32.8), rebounds (8.3), assists (8.7), steals (1.7), field goal attempts (22.5) and free-throw attempts (10.2). This season, in games when Dončić either doesn’t play or scores 30 points or fewer, the Mavs are 3-10. They are 14-6 when Dončić scores 31 or more, and 5-1 when he scores 40 or more.

Major takeaway: Still to come!

Milwaukee Bucks @ Boston Celtics

Milwaukee Bucks

MIL

Boston Celtics

BOS

Current standing: The Celtics and Bucks are arguably the best two teams in the league. Boston is first in the East at 23-10, despite losing five of its last seven. Milwaukee is 22-10, even though its lost four of its last seven. One will make a statement on Sunday. 

Key stats: The Bucks are still attempting to work All-Star forward Khris Middleton back into the fold, after he missed the first 20 games of the season while recovering from wrist surgery. In the seven games he’s played this season, Milwaukee is 4-3, and Middleton is averaging 11.1 points on 32.5% shooting.

Major takeaway: Still to come!

Memphis Grizzlies @ Golden State Warriors

Memphis Grizzlies

MEM

Golden State Warriors

GSW

Current standing: Memphis and Golden State are headed in two different directions. The Grizz are second in the West at 20-11, but have the same record as the conference’s top team (Denver). They’ve also won eight of their last 10. The Warriors are 11th in the West at 15-18, and have lost seven of their last nine.

Key stats: Since Steph Curry went down with a shoulder injury, the Warriors are 1-3. And even though they earned a 16-point win at Toronto on Dec. 18, their three losses since Curry’s injury have been by an average of 26.7 points.  

Major takeaway: Still to come!

Phoenix Suns @ Denver Nuggets

Phoenix Suns

PHX

Denver Nuggets

DEN

Current standing: Denver is in the conversation for best team in the league, sitting atop the West at 20-11 and having won six of its last seven. Phoenix, the top team in the West from a year ago, is fourth in the conference at 19-14, but has only won three of its last 10 games.

Key stats: Reigning MVP Nikola Jokić is arguably getting better. He’s averaging 24.9 points, 10.9 rebounds and is third in the NBA in assists, with 9.3. He is the only non-point guard in the top 10 in assists and the only center in the top-37 (Embiid is 38th with 4.6 assists per game). Jokić is also tied for first in the league in triple-doubles (six) and double-doubles (22) this season.

Major takeaway: Still to come!

Yaron Weitzman is an NBA writer for FOX Sports. He is the author of “Tanking to the Top: The Philadelphia 76ers and the Most Audacious Process in the History of Professional Sports.” Follow him on Twitter @YaronWeitzman.

Ric Bucher is an NBA writer for FOX Sports. He previously wrote for Bleacher Report, ESPN The Magazine and The Washington Post and has written two books, “Rebound,” on NBA forward Brian Grant’s battle with young onset Parkinson’s, and “Yao: A Life In Two Worlds.” He also has a daily podcast, “On The Ball with Ric Bucher.” Follow him on Twitter @RicBucher.

Melissa Rohlin is an NBA writer for FOX Sports. She previously covered the league for Sports Illustrated, the Los Angeles Times, the Bay Area News Group and the San Antonio Express-News. Follow her on Twitter @melissarohlin.


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