The Brooklyn Nets will return to the floor after a week and will battle the Los Angeles Lakers on Christmas Day.
Brooklyn is coming off a week full of uncertainty, with a total of 10 players in Covid-19 protocols. Among them was the Big-3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving. Veteran forwards Paul Millsap and LaMarcus Aldridge also were in the protocols.
The Nets, though, will have some star power on Christmas Day, as Harden returns to the lineup. Millsap and Jevon Carter also cleared the protocols and will play, while Nic Claxton will be available, too.
Brooklyn remains on top of the East, at 21-9, yet they know it will take some time to return to form. On the other hand, the Lakers are fighting to overcome inconsistency and return to the winning track.
Coming off a blowout home loss to the San Antonio Spurs, the Lakers have now lost four straight (16-17). With five players in the protocols and two injured, the 17-time NBA champions have a depleted roster and have already added five replacement players.
Jemerrio Jones, Mason Jones, Isaiah Thomas, Darren Collison and Stanley Johnson have joined Los Angeles. All five of them have signed 10-day contracts. Collison and Johnson are expected to be in the lineup vs the Nets.
The two title contenders will face each other for the first time ever on Christmas Day. The Los Angeles Lakers will play on Christmas Day for the 23rd straight year. They have the most all-time victories on Christmas Day with 24. For their part, the Nets have a 5-5 record in Christmas Day games.
Even with three superstars out in Durant, Irving and Anthony Davis, the Lakers and the Nets are set for an impressive showdown. Game tips off at 8pm ET.
With the Nets and the Lakers being among the betting favorites to win the title, visit Pickswise for the latest odds in all NBA games.