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LeBron James and Lakers to play the Warriors on Christmas Day

FILE - In this June 6, 2018 file photo, Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry goes to the basket agai
LeBron James will be in a Lakers uniform the next time he plays against Stephen Curry and the Warriors.
(Carlos Osorio / Associated Press)

The NBA has set up a Finals rematch for Christmas Day.

Sort of.

The Lakers will face the Golden State Warriors on the road Dec. 25, pitting new Lakers star LeBron James against the team he faced in four consecutive NBA Finals while a member of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Lakers are Christmas Day staples, but typically play at home. Since 1999, the Lakers have played on Christmas every year. Only three of those games were on the road: 2005 and 2006 in Miami and 2014 in Chicago.

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The New York Times first reported the matchup, as well as Boston-Philadelphia and New York-Milwaukee matchups.

The NBA will release the full schedule for Christmas Day and nationally televised games in the first week of the season on Wednesday.

The league tries to feature its best matchups and most compelling storylines on Christmas. When Shaquille O’Neal left Los Angeles for Miami, the Lakers played the Heat on Christmas. When James left Miami for Cleveland, the Cavaliers played the Heat on Christmas.

For the last three seasons, James’ Cavaliers have faced the Warriors on Christmas after playing them in each of the previous years’ Finals. The Warriors won two of those games. James has played every Dec. 25 since 2007.

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In their holiday game last year, the Lakers played Minnesota and lost 121-104. The league scheduled them against the Clippers in the previous two years’ Christmas matchups. In the last five years, the Lakers have won once on Christmas — against the Clippers in 2016.

tania.ganguli@latimes.com

Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli


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