Christmas is a special time for NBA fans with some great games filling up the day and night of the holiday. Over the years, that’s resulted in some special performances by some great players of past and present, like Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen and Charles Barkley in the past, while Kobe Bryant, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have been doing the same recently.
Russell Westbrook, 2014
The Russell Westbrook one man show had a lot of impressive games in the 2014-2015 season while Kevin Durant was out with injuries. One of his more impressive performances came on Christmas in a 114-106 win over the San Antonio Spurs, with Westbrook scoring 34 points, grabbing 5 rebounds, adding 11 assists and 5 steals while shooting 50% from the field, without making a single three pointer.
LeBron James, 2012
There are a lot of LeBron James entries when it comes to great Christmas day games. In 2012, it was a Finals rematch for the Miami Heat against the Oklahoma City Thunder. James against Durant. Kevin Durant actually outscored James 33 to 29, but LeBron also had 8 rebounds and 9 assists, not to mention a key defensive play on Durant to hold the win in Miami (103-97).
Kobe Bryant, 2012
Same night, different time, different place. Kobe Bryant had himself a nice little head to head going with Carmelo Anthony. He won that won 34 points to 33, in his last almost fully healthy season. The Lakers, then a team with plenty of expectations due to the Dwight Howard and Steve Nash additions, and the Lakers won it 100-94.
LeBron James, 2011
Another James night, another finals rematch. The Miami Heat opened the season (lockout postponed it to Christmas) against the Dallas Mavericks. This time, James and co. didn’t seem bothered by the defending NBA champions, with LeBron scoring 37 points to go with 10 rebounds, 6 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks as the Heat dismantled the Mavs 105-94 after already leading by almost 40 points in that game.
Carmelo Anthony, 2011
Same night, Carmelo Anthony had a big performance of his own as the New York Knicks beat the Boston Celtics 106-104 behind 37 points from Anthony. The Celtics put up a nice fight with 31 points and 13 assists from Rajon Rondo, but it was more or less the swan song of their nice run in their big three era.
LeBron James, 2010
Final James night, we promise. This one comes from the first Big Three season in Miami, as the Heat came to play the defending champions Los Angeles Lakers in a super interesting showdown, that turned out to be a very one sided affair in a 96-80 win for the Heat. There were 69 combined points for the big three, while James pulled off a 27 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists triple double with 4 steals as a bonus.
Dwyane Wade, 2006
The defending NBA champions Miami Heat had a rough 2006-2007 NBA season, but Wade made it a happy Christmas in a 101-85 win over the Los Angeles Lakers against Kobe Bryant and not much else, while Shaquille O’Neal wasn’t playing. Wade scored 40 points to go with 11 assists, 4 rebounds, 4 blocks and 4 steals in a huge night for him.
Scottie Pippen, 1994
A special night for Pippen, leading the Bulls in a rough season season that started without Michael Jordan (first one went a little bit smoother) and ended with him back on the team, prepping the second threepeat. In a 107-104 win over huge rivals the New York Knicks (who stopped the Bulls in the playoffs six months earlier), Pippen scored 36 points with 16 rebounds, 5 steals and a couple of blocks.
Barkley & KJ, 1993
The 1993-1994 NBA season was good for the Phoenix Suns, but nothing was as good as it was a season earlier, when they made the NBA finals and lost to the Chicago Bulls in six games, while Barkley finished as the league’s MVP. Barkley had one of his best games in a 111-91 win over the Houston Rockets (eventual champs that season) with 38 points and 18 rebounds in a showdown with Olajuwon, while Kevin Johnson helped, scoring 36 points to go with 9 assists.
Michael Jordan, 1992
Jordan had to be on this list, right? In a 89-77 win over the New York Knicks, maybe the Bulls biggest rivals during the first three peat which included two epic playoff series, Jordan scored 42 points with 8 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 steals.