THIS WEEK’S BEST BET:
NBA: CLIPPERS at LAKERS
Details/TV: Staples Center, Friday at 7:30 p.m., ESPN, TWC SportsNet, Prime Ticket:
One last time to experience a Very Kobe Christmas. That is, if his injured shoulder heals in time. Checking the NBA record books twice, it says Kobe Bryant has the all-time mark for most games played on Dec. 25 (15) and most points scored (383, better than Oscar Roberton’s 377). That’s something LeBron James might ask Santa about for the future. Yet the last time Bryant was healthy enough to actually make an appearance on this holiday was in 2012, a 100-94 win over the visiting New York Knicks, when he scored 34. He didn’t play in the Christmas game last year at Chicago, because he was “resting.” He missed the 2013 Christmas day game at home against Cleveland because of a bruised knee. Now come the Clippers, who’ve knocked off the Lakers in 11 of the last 12 meetings, and Bryant missing the last Lakers’ game in OKC – the aftereffects of a dunk?
As for those who may use this event as a Christmas gift – it’s already been documented that Chris Brown wants to join ex-girlfriend Rihanna courtside with their daughter Royalty to experience this Kobefest – one may find the prices extremely steep. TheStreet.com reports that the average ticket is more than $700 a pop, with $200 just to get in the door. What’s the payoff?
Also on Christmas Day:
New Orleans at Miami, 9 a.m., ESPN
Chicago at Oklahoma City, 11:30 a.m., Channel 7
Cleveland at Golden State, 2 p.m., Channel 7
San Antonio at Houston, 5 p.m., ESPN
Also this week:
Lakers at Denver (Tuesday, 6 p.m., TWC SportsNet), home vs. Oklahoma City (Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. TWC SportsNet) and at Memphis (Saturday, 3 p.m., TWC SportsNet).
Clippers home vs. Oklahoma City (Monday, 7:30 p.m. Prime Ticket) and at Utah (Saturday, 6 p.m., Prime Ticket).
THE REST OF THE WEEK:
UCLA’s Foster Farm Bowl bowl game appearance against Nebraska on the day after Christmas (Saturday, 6:15 p.m.) is at the site of Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara … Oakland hosts San Diego in what could be the Raiders’ last game in the Bay Area (Thursday, 5:25 p.m., NFL Network ) … Santa Anita’s Winter Meeting opens as usual (Saturday, noon) … UCLA (vs. McNeese State, Tuesday, 8 p.m., Pac-12 Network) and USC (vs. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville, Monday, 8 p.m., Pac-12 Net and vs. Lafayette, Wednesday, 7 p.m., Pac-12 Network) close out the non-conference basketball schedule … More at this link.