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, Frank Miles
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The Christmas Day basketball battle for superiority in Los Angeles is one of the most-anticipated Yuletide matchups in years, at least if the ticket prices are anything to go by.
A seat for the Lakers–Clippers matchup at Staples Center is going for an average of $1,405 on the secondary market, MarketWatch reported.
That ticket will be the priciest Christmas Day game of this decade, according to ticket price data tracker TicketIQ. The next two highest average price for Christmas Day tickets: $1,292 for last year’s game between the Lakers and the Golden State Warriors and $1,011 for when the Cleveland Cavaliers faced the Warriors in 2015.
The NBA has played games on Christmas Day since 1947 when the league was in its second season of existence. The intracity matchup between the Lakers and Clippers is the highlight of this year’s five-game slate, as it pits LeBron James and Anthony Davis of the Lakers against the Clippers’ dynamic duo of Paul George and two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard.
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It’s Anthony Davis and LeBron James’ first Christmas as Lakers teammates. (AP)
The two pairings shook up the league’s landscape considerably when they came together this past summer, and the players are ready for action.
“I think we’re good,” George said. “I think we’re good.”
“We know what the end goal is,” Davis said. “And when you have guys like that, with veteran leadership, when everyone is locked in to our goal, it’s easy for us to jell together.”
“It’s about getting better, each and every day,” James added.
The Lakers (24-6, first in the Western Conference) have gone 3-1 against division opponents. They have a 14-6 record when allowing 100 or more points.
The Clippers (22-10, fourth in the Western Conference) are 14-7 against Western Conference opponents. They rank fourth in the league with 47.8 rebounds per game led by Leonard averaging 7.8.
The Clippers now have two-time NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. (AP)
The two teams are facing off for the second time this season.
The Clippers defeated the Lakers 112-102 in their last matchup on Oct. 22. Leonard led the Clippers with 30 points, and Danny Green paced the Lakers scoring 28 points.
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The Christmas quintuple-header kicks off at noon ET when the Boston Celtics travel to Toronto to meet the defending champion Raptors. At 2:30 p.m. ET, the Philadelphia 76ers host the Eastern Conference-leading Milwaukee Bucks. The Houston Rockets and Golden State Warriors meet in San Francisco at 5 p.m. ET before the Lakers and Clippers take center stage. The long day of basketball concludes at 10:30 p.m. ET when the Denver Nuggets host the New Orleans Pelicans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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