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Watch NBA Christmas Day Games Live Without Cable from Your In-Laws This Year

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For basketball fans, Christmas Day is more than just a day to receive presents — it’s a day to watch some of the biggest NBA games of the year. And luckily now that there are so many great streaming options, you don’t need cable to watch the Christmas games.

In a hurry? These are three of our favorite streaming services that will let you watch every minute of every game:

  • Fubo: The best streaming service for international sports also provides 150+ well-selected channels. Fubo allows you to try out its service with a free trial.
  • DIRECTV STREAM: Get a great channel lineup with the best selection of RSNs in the industry. A 5-day free trial is now available for DIRECTV STREAM.
  • Sling TV: This low-cost service allows you to select just the channel lineup you want. Save 50% on Sling TV now.

If you can’t watch your favorite sports because of your location, get ExpressVPN to access the content you deserve.

In a hurry? Unfortunately, we don’t know a streaming service in that offers this TV channel/sport. But if you’ve already paid for the right service, and just can’t watch because of your location, there is an easy way to get the sports, movies, and TV you deserve. You need a VPN, like one of the following.


1. ExpressVPN: Established VPN provider in 105 countries. Smart DNS, a built-in ad-blocker, and unlimited bandwidth. Try it with a 30-day money-back guarantee.

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If you’re overwhelmed and not sure where to begin, you’ll find all the answers in our full VPN guide.

The NBA on Christmas Day has been an event for basketball back to the 1940s. It only became televised starting in 1967. And it wasn’t until 1985 that all the games became televised. Now it’s an all day affair with basketball games running back-to-back.

Read on for detailed information on how to watch NBA Christmas Day Games online without cable TV.

Sign Up for a Free Fubo Trial

2022 NBA Christmas Day Games TV Schedule

This year’s Christmas Day slate offers five NBA matchups. They feature many of the best teams in the league, including the two teams in last year’s NBA finals.

The highlight is probably the Eastern Conference vs West showdown: the Celtics and the Lakers — an epic rivalry as old as the NBA itself. The defending champions Denver will also meet up with the 2022 title-holders they unseated, the Warriors, in a Western Conference clash.

ESPN starts coverage at with NBA Countdown Presented by Draftkings Sportsbook. The games start at on ESPN:

Because Christmas falls on a Monday this year, ABC is only airing two of the games before moving on to NFL Monday Night Football. ESPN will continue the NBA coverage for the last two games.

Overview of NBA Christmas Day Games

Since 1947, the NBA Christmas game schedule has been a tradition highly cherished by sports fans all around the world. For 2023, the five Christmas Day games showcased by the NBA have been selected following the tried-and-true criteria of scheduling the current champions, selecting teams with exciting players, and presenting traditional matchups.

Let’s take a brief look at the games the NBA will be gifting us for Christmas this year:

Milwaukee Bucks vs New York Knicks

The action will start at noon, as it often does for the Christmas games, in Madison Square Garden. Despite the Milwaukee Bucks‘ establishment in 1965, their upcoming Christmas encounter with the Knicks will only be their second festive showdown. Their last holiday meeting concluded sadly for New York, with the Bucks securing a 109-95 win. Both teams lost their Yuletide games last year, which will have players and fans alike pushing for vengeance.

Milwaukee has the better record this season so far, 13-5 to New York’s 10-7, and Giannis Antetokounmpo is averaging 30.1 points against Jalen Brunson’s 24.1. The Bucks and Knicks will provide a preview to the Dec 25 game when they meet in the NBA In-Season Tournament Quarterfinals on Dec 5. The two teams will get a rematch on Christmas Eve Eve (Dec 23) before the big day.

Golden State Warriors vs Denver Nuggets

As the reigning NBA champions, the Nuggets are guaranteed a Christmas game, and they get to host it. The Warriors claimed the championship in 2022, only for Denver to seize it in 2023.

The Warriors are 15-17 for Christmas (counting their early years in Philly, otherwise 10-12), which isn’t great, but the Nuggets have played nine Christmas games and lost seven of them. But the Nuggets did win last year, so they may be on a hot streak, especially with Steph Curry on the court.

Curry was absent from the Dubs’ clash against the Grizzlies last year, but we expect him to show up this year with (jingle) bells on against Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray. Denver also has the more promising record this season, 13-6 to Golden State’s 8-10, and they’re undefeated at home.

Boston Celtics vs LA Lakers

There is an unwritten NBA rule about showcasing the Lakers on Christmas Day, particularly when superstar forward LeBron James is the player with the most Christmas Day game appearances. The Lakers are also the team with the most Christmas wins (24) out of 49 total games.

The last time the Celtics and Lakers met at Christmas was in 2008, which ended with Kobe and Co. winning 92-83. Last season, the Celtics dominated the Lakers, but both teams have changed a lot of players this year. And the Lakers just suffered a scorching 44 point loss to the 76ers on Nov 27 — the worst of James’s twenty-year career.

Both teams have winning records this season, though Boston has the edge with 14-4 versus LA’s 11-8. It remains to be seen whether Jayson Tatum, Derrick White, and Jaylen Brown can hold off LeBron.

Philadelphia 76ers vs Miami Heat

Miami generally brings the Heat on Christmas, with an impressive 11-2 all-time record (6-0 at home). Last year’s Eastern Conference champs are riding high — 10-8 — but not quite as high as Philadelphia (12-6). Philadelphia has a less stellar 19-14 holiday record, but they’ve also been playing Christmas games a lot longer.

2022-23 MVP Joel Embiid + Tyrese Maxey = hard to beat, but Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler are leading them in the odds at 1.78. And thankfully, the odds of James Harden drama at this game are 0%.

Dallas Mavericks vs Phoenix Suns

The Suns have played Christmas 20 times, and are doing pretty well in winning 12 of those. Despite a nearly identical record this season (11 wins each and the Suns have one more loss), Phoenix is expected to take out the Mavs, Luka Dončić, Kyrie Irving, and all. In fact, powered by Kevin Durant and Devin Booker, the Suns are favorites to go all the way to the Championship this year.

Unblock Your Favorite Events & Teams With a VPN

If you can’t watch your favorite events or teams because of your location, a VPN will allow you to get the access you are entitled to, plus extra security and unequaled privacy. Check out our VPN Guide for everything you need to know, including our top pick ExpressVPN.

Get ExpressVPN Today

Other brands worth checking out include Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost.

How to Watch the 2023 NBA Christmas Day Games Online without Cable

Don’t want to read the whole guide? What you need to know is that the 2023 Christmas games are televised across ESPN and ABC. Depending on where you live, you can watch two of them for free with an antenna via ABC. See our Antenna Guide for details on doing this.

But most cord-cutters prefer to stream. And the great thing about the Christmas Day games is that you have some good options for streaming the two channels they’re televised on. If you want to watch NBA Christmas Day games without cable, we recommend FuboTVHulu + Live TV, or Sling TV. These cable TV alternatives offer ESPN, as well as access to the ABC games.


FuboTV offers both ESPN and ABC, so it’s the perfect service for watching NBA Christmas games. And if you opt for the free trial trial, you can watch them all live for free.

It’s a great service for sports fans with great coverage of soccer and major leagues like NFL, MLB, and NHL. A bit about the service:

  • Over 120 channels
  • Free 1,000 hours of cloud DVR storage
  • Stream on up to 10 devices at once
  • As low as $79.99/mo
  • Works on most major devices.

FuboTV is one of the top services for streaming live sports and is a great option for streaming NBA Christmas games. To learn which channels fuboTV does have, check out this channels guide.

Sign Up for a Free Fubo Trial

Superpower Your Sports Streaming With a VPN

For the sake of privacy, security, and access, you should be using a VPN. They are low-cost and easy to use. We’ve been using them for years and our top pick is ExpressVPN. Other brands worth checking out include Hotspot Shield and CyberGhost.

i Our VPN Buyer’s Guide provides a complete introduction and all you need to know to choose the best VPN for your needs.

Sling TV

Sling TV offers live streaming of channels with no cable contract. However, it is different from other streaming services in offering a low-cost base plan with a large number of options for mre. Sling Orange is $40.00/mo and offers ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPN3. This last channel is great because it streams everything from ABC Sports — and more!

  • 30+ channels including The Disney Channel
  • 50 hours of cloud DVR storage
  • Local channels available as upgrade
  • As low as $40.00/mo
  • Supports most devices.

For more info, check out our Sling TV review, or see our guide to watching the Christmas Day NBA games on Sling TV.

Save 50% on Sling TV Now

Hulu + Live TV

Hulu + Live TV is a streaming service that offers 85+ live channels, along with Hulu’s popular on-demand service, ESPN+, and Disney+. You get all that for $76.99/mo.

  • Over 85 live channels and Hulu on-demand
  • ESPN+ and Disney+ included
  • Unlimited cloud DVR storage
  • Streaming on up to two devices at once
  • Costs just $76.99/mo
  • Supports most streaming devices.

Hulu Live prices are considerably lower than cable, yet the service still allows you to watch most of your favorite channels live. Ready to try it out to watch NBA Christmas games online? Try the Hulu Live free 3-day trial.

Try Hulu + Live TV for 3 Days Free!

Devices to Live Stream NBA Christmas Games

Fubo, Hulu, and Sling all support most streaming devices on the market. These include:

  • Amazon Fire TV (Firestick)
  • Android Mobile
  • Android TV
  • Apple TV
  • Chromecast
  • iOS (iPhone, iPad)
  • LG TVs
  • Roku
  • Samsung TVs
  • Web Browsers
  • Xbox

Hulu + Live TV also supports Nintendo Switch and PlayStation units.

Wrapping Up

Have any questions about how to watch Christmas Day games online? And don’t forget, as the regular NBA season draws to a close in a few months, make sure to catch our guide for how to stream the NBA Playoffs. Enjoy the games!

How to Watch NBA Teams

We have viewer’s guides for all the NBA teams:

Atlantic Pacific Central SW SE NW
Boston Celtics Golden State Warriors Chicago Bulls Dallas Mavericks Atlanta Hawks Denver Nuggets
Brooklyn Nets Los Angeles Clippers Cleveland Cavaliers Houston Rockets Charlotte Hornets Minnesota Timberwolves
New York Knicks Los Angeles Lakers Detroit Pistons Memphis Grizzlies Miami Heat Oklahoma City Thunder
Philadelphia 76ers Phoenix Suns Indiana Pacers New Orleans Pelicans Orlando Magic Portland Trail Blazers
Toronto Raptors Sacramento Kings Milwaukee Bucks San Antonio Spurs Washington Wizards Utah Jazz

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That’s it — you’ll save money, take back control, and enjoy TV more!

Page Updates

  1. Updated for 2023

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Frank Moraes
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