Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
There’s nothing like some good old-fashioned hate on Christmas.
The Los Angeles Clippers and Golden State Warriors played in an emotional and back-and-forth series in the first round of the 2014 NBA playoffs. It went the full seven games, five of which came down to the final minutes. The Clippers eventually won after overcoming an early double-digit deficit in a dramatic Game 7.
The thrilling series wasn’t the only time these two teams made headlines last year.
Blake Griffin was ejected in a physical Christmas matchup against the Warriors that only escalated the competitive tension between the two squads. Broadcaster Reggie Miller commented on the hatred during the playoffs in a conference call, via Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times:
"Any time you hate a team, you can throw out who’s hurt and who’s not playing because it becomes personal," said Miller. "We’re going to see a lot of hard fouls in this series. David Lee and Blake Griffin can’t stand each other and I love it."
With star power in the form of Griffin, Chris Paul, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and genuine dislike, what’s not to love about this matchup?
The Warriors will be motivated in this one with revenge on their minds and will come out hot from behind the three-point line. Both teams will be playing their third game in four days, so fatigue will begin to set in during the second half. That means an early lead will prove particularly important.
Prediction: Golden State 105, Los Angeles 99
The Christmas Day schedule, along with a full season schedule, can be viewed at NBA.com