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NBA Christmas slate to feature Lakers-Clippers: report

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by Agence France-Presse

A showdown between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers, likely to feature LeBron James against Kawhi Leonard, will be this year’s feature NBA Christmas game, ESPN reported Friday.

Citing league sources, the sports network’s website reported the annual holiday slate with the battle of Staples Center tenants the biggest matchup.

Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James and new teammate Anthony Davis will lead the Lakers against reigning NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Paul George of the Clippers as the NBA’s premier pairs display their skills.

For James, it would be a 14th Christmas appearance, two shy of Kobe Bryant’s all-time record. James has scored 338 points on the holiday, trailing only Bryant’s 395 and Oscar Robertson’s 377.

Other Christmas matchups, according to the report, find the New Orleans Pelicans at Denver, Boston at reigning NBA champion Toronto, Houston at Golden State and Milwaukee at Philadelphia.

It would be the first Christmas appearance for Toronto since 2001.

NBA scoring champion James Harden and new teammate Russell Westbrook would lead Houston into a visit to the Stephen Curry-powered Warriors in their new arena.

Reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo would lead Milwaukee against a Sixers’ squad led by Joel Embiid and Ben Simmons.