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 your first month of Sling TV.
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Table Of Contents
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.
2022 NBA Christmas Day Games TV Schedule
This Christmas features 5 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 showdown between two of the best teams of the 2022-23 NBA season: the Celtics and the Bucks — a rematch of last year’s hard-fought 7-game conference semifinals. The Western Conference features a game between the leading Grizzlies and the struggling (when not at home) Warriors.
ESPN starts coverage at with NBA Countdown Presented by Draftkings Sportsbook. The games start at , on ESPN as well as ABC:
- : Philadelphia 76ers vs New York Knicks
- : Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks
- : Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics
- : Memphis Grizzlies vs Golden State Warriors
- : Phoenix Suns vs Denver Nuggets
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 2022, 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:
Philadelphia 76ers vs New York Knicks
The action will start at noon with the most frequent match-up between NBA teams on Christmas. The 76ers and the Knicks have previously played 13 Christmas games, and Philadelphia has the upper hand with seven victories. The Knicks will host at Madison Square Garden this time, and we all know that Christmas in New York City is always special.
But the Sixers are widely expected to dominate with the scoring prowess of James Harden and Joel Embiid. As the Knicks, Julius Randle and Jalen Brunson are their best hopes to pull an upset.
Los Angeles Lakers vs Dallas Mavericks
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. This will be the 25th Christmas game played by the Lakers, but they will go on the road to play the Dallas Mavericks, which means trying to prevent Luka Doncic from scoring and passing.
Although the Lakers have one of the most impressive rosters in the league, they have not managed to coalesce since their championship season during the coronavirus pandemic, but this game will likely draw high viewer ratings because it could be the last Christmas with LeBron on the court.
Milwaukee Bucks vs Boston Celtics
This game could easily be an Eastern Conference championship preview. The Bucks will definitely feel the pressure of playing the Celtics at TD Garden on Christmas, a day when Boston fans are known to get more pumped up than usual.
In essence, this game has been scheduled on Christmas to remind us that Giannis Antetokumpo of the Bucks and Jayson Tatum of the Celtics are strong candidates for the Most Valuable Player distinction.
In Las Vegas, sportsbook managers are reporting heavy wagering action on this game, and the odds are pretty much even despite the home arena advantage enjoyed by the Celtics.
Memphis Grizzlies vs Golden State Warriors
As the NBA title holders, the Warriors were guaranteed a spot on the Christmas Day showcase, and they also get to play at home in Northern California, which is one of the perks of being champions. The Grizzlies have a shot at redemption in the sense that they could have made the NBA Finals last season if not for the Warriors, a team that continues to be packed with All-Star players.
Fans of spectacular point guards will get to see Ja Morant from the Grizzlies against Steph Curry from the Warriors, who are favored to win by a tight margin. One possible angle in this game will be how closely the referees observe Morant, who has been called for travel and carry violations quite a few times this season.
Phoenix Suns vs Denver Nuggets
The Nuggets have played seven Christmas games, and they have lost six of them. The Suns have played 19 times, and they have one of the best NBA Christmas records with 12 victories. In the past, the last Western Conference games scheduled for Christmas did not attract solid ratings, but this has changed ever since Nikola Jokic signed with Phoenix.
Jokic has been drawing comparisons with the great Larry Bird in terms of court vision and passing, but he will face a solid Nuggets team under the leadership of Chris Paul and Devin Booker.
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.
How to Watch the 2022 NBA Christmas Day Games Online without Cable
Don’t want to read the whole guide? What you need to know is that 2022 Christmas games are televised on ESPN and ABC. Depending on where you live, you can watch them all for free with an antenna via ABC. See our Antenna Guide for details on doing this.
But most cord-cutters prefer to stream. And 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 FuboTV, Hulu + 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 $74.99/mo
- Works on most major devices.
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 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.
Hulu + Live TV
- 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 $69.99/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 one month for $69.99.
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
- iOS (iPhone, iPad)
- LG TVs
- Samsung TVs
- VIZIO TVs
- Web Browsers
Hulu + Live TV also supports Nintendo Switch and PlayStation units.
Have any questions about how to watch Christmas Day games online? And don’t forget, as the regular 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:
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