LeBron James broke a NBA record but couldn’t stop the LA Lakers from falling to their fifth consecutive defeat in their clash with the Brooklyn Nets.
The four-time NBA champion broke a record which had previously been held by Lakers legend Kobe Bryant, of holding the most points scored by any player in history on Christmas Day.
LeBron tied Bryant on a lay-up assisted by Russell Westbrook with 4:13 to play in the second-quarter.
LeBron James scored 39 points but his LA Lakers fell to defeat on Christmas Day
LeBron though did overtake Lakers legend Kobe Bryant for most points on Christmas Day
He then broke the record with his 13th point of 39 on the night – with a free-throw shortly after being fouled in transition on the Lakers’ next possession.
James who also bagged nine rebounds, seven assists, three steals and a block, has now played in a league-high tying 16 games on Christmas Day – a record he also shares with Bryant.
The 36-year-old also holds other records on Christmas Day including field goals (150) and broke a tie with Kevin Durant for the three-point lead – extending that mark to 28.
The Lakers lost their fifth game on the trot and are now seventh in the Western Conference
James Harden returned from Covid-19 to bag himself a triple-double against the Lakers
He also passed Dolph Schayes – a NBA star of the 1950s – for third on the holiday’s free throws made list with 94, after shooting eight for nine at the line.
Despite LeBron’s fine performance, it wasn’t enough to take victory as the Brooklyn Nets – inspired by James Harden and Patty Mills took a 122-115 victory in Los Angeles.
Harden became the eighth player to log a Christmas Day triple-double with an impressive 36 points, ten rebounds and ten assists.
Mills meanwhile set a Christmas Day record eight three-pointers – tying a career-high 34 points on 11 for 17 shooting including 8 for 13 from range.
Patty Mills also broke a record for most three-pointers on Christmas Day with eight
The Nets were without Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving due to Covid-19, but Harden returned for the clash to help them to victory.
Nicolas Claxton also played a big part in the victory as he threw down a tiebreaking alley-oop over LeBron with 40.7 seconds left,
LeBron’s Team-mate Russell Westbrook also surpassed Bryant on Saturday for third in Christmas assists, with 11 on the day pushing his career total to 93.
He added 13 points and 12 rebounds to join NBA legend Oscar Robertson as the only players with multiple Christmas Day triple-doubles.
Milwaukee Bucks 117-113 Boston Celtics
The Milwaukee Bucks found themselves behind the Boston Celtics for the majority of the contest, until Wesley Matthews hit a three-pointer with 30.3 seconds left to lead the hosts to victory.
Two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo returned from NBA’s health and safety protocols to score 36 points, while important role-players Bobby Portis and Donte DiVincenzo also returned from Covid-19.
The Celtics had just eight players available but took control behind Jaylen Brown who scored 14 of his 25 points in the opening quarter and Jayson Tatum who also bagged 25 points.
Boston had led by as many as 19 but the Bucks, inspired by Antetokoumpo, bounced back to take victory.
Giannis Antetokounpo returned from Covid-19 to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to victory
New York Knicks 101-87 Atalanta Hawks
The New York Knicks beat a depleted Atlanta Hawks side to win their first holiday game in a decade.
Julius Randle led the team with 25 points and 12 rebounds while Kemba Walker had a triple-double with ten points, 12 assists and ten rebounds.
The Hawks went into the game without Trae Young – who helped them beat the Knicks in the first round of last season’s playoffs – due to the NBA’s health and safety protocols.
The New York Knicks beat the side who knocked them out of last season’s play-offs
Utah Jazz 120-116 Dallas Mavericks
Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points to help the Utah Jazz beat a Dallas Mavericks team who missed a number of key players due to Covid-19.
The Jazz who are third in the Western Conference, also saw Bojan Bogdanovic net 25 points, while Mike Conley had 22 to give them their 13th win in 15 games.
Dallas are just inside the play-offs in eighth in their conference and were without their star player Luka Doncic due to health and safety protocols.
Donovan Mitchell scored 33 points for Utah Jazz against the Dallas Mavericks
Phoenix Suns 107-116 Golden State Warriors
Western Conference Leaders Golden State Warriors beat second place Phoenix Suns, inspired by Stephen Curry.
The leading-MVP contender this season so far scored 33 points while Otto Porter Jr scored seven of his 19 late in the game.
Curry didn’t have his best shooting night, finishing ten for 27 including five for 16 from three to help the Warriors end Phoenix’s 15-game home winning streak.
Stephen Curry led the Golden State Warriors to victory against conference rivals Phoenix Suns