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Clippers, Lakers set for Christmas Day showdown at STAPLES Center

The Battle for L.A. will take center stage at the Christmas Showcase.

Los Angeles Lakers v Toronto Raptors Photo by Mark Blinch/NBAE via Getty Images

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the L.A. Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers will face off against each other at STAPLES Center on Christmas day.

The NBA normally plays 5 games on Christmas, but with games happening in both Los Angeles and Golden State (reportedly), we can’t safely assume that the Clippers have the nightcap game as they have had in other years. There also has not been an indication as to which team will be the “home” team for this edition of the Clippers-Lakers rivalry. Both teams play in STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, and split their 4 annual match-ups between two games on the Lakers’ court and two on the Clippers’.

The full NBA schedule is normally announced in mid-August, with key games such as these leaking out ahead of time. It’s possible that the league chose to save a big Clippers-Lakers game until Christmas due to Paul George’s shoulder injury. With the additions of Leonard and George this summer for the Clippers, and with Anthony Davis joining forces with LeBron James on the Lakers, these co-tenants are two of the most intriguing teams in the league, with the Clippers being the favorite to win the NBA title and the Lakers not being far behind.

It’s unlikely that the Clippers and Lakers are going to face off on both opening night and Christmas, making it possible that the Clippers will open their season in Toronto, where Kawhi Leonard can celebrate winning last year’s championship with the Raptors and receive his championship ring.

Update: It looks like the Clippers will head to Toronto on December 11th, when Kawhi will receive his ring. Opening night TBA!