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Clippers complete comeback win over Lakers on back of Kawhi, Pat Bev

We’ll be following along for all the action on Christmas, giving you up-to-date injury news and highlights, plus betting and fantasy analysis.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard moves to the basket against Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis during the first half at Staples Center. Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Clippers vs. Lakers final score: 111-106

UPDATE: The Clippers completed the comeback win over the Lakers on the back of Kawhi and Patrick Beverley. Pat Bev sealed the win with some amazing defensive play down the stretch, and Kawhi finished with 35 points, 12 rebounds and five assists. The Clips are now 2-0 against the Lakers on the season. LeBron finished with 23-9-10, but wasn’t able to get it done down the stretch after starting off the fourth quarter hot.

Here are updated fantasy performers on DraftKings from the DK Live Dashboard after the fourth game of the night. Kawhi and LeBron up there among the best scores:

The Clippers ended up covering the spread, which closed at Lakers -2. The O/U of 222.5 also didn’t hit, coming up just short at 217.

Watch Beverley make perhaps the game-winning play on LeBron.

UPDATE: Wild finish. Patrick Beverley forces a turnover of LeBron with 3.6 seconds left. Clippers up 109-106. Timeout by Doc Rivers to talk things over and advance the ball.

UPDATE: LeBron is up to 10 points in the fourth quarter but the Lakers just took a timeout up three, 101-98. Kawhi is still leading the Clips, but PG needs to get things going if the Clippers want to pull off the comeback.

UPDATE: The Lakers have shallow lead early in the fourth quarter and LeBron James is getting more aggressive on offense. The Clippers just got Kawhi back in the game, so we can expect them to run through him the rest of the game.

UPDATE: The Clippers have closed the gap and have the game tied going into the fourth quarter at 86-86. Kuzma is up to a season-high 25 points for the Lakers. Kawhi is up to 24 points, 10 rebounds and five assists on the night. Looks like we’re finally getting a solid finish to one of these games on Christmas.

Kawhi with some D and Ivica Zubac with the finish.

UPDATE: LeBron is closing in on a triple-double with 10-8-9 while Davis is up to 20 points. Kawhi continues to lead the Clips with 21-9-5 for 42.25 DKFP on DraftKings.

UPDATE: The third quarter is underway and the Clippers are making a run. The lead was up to 15 points, but now it’s down to seven.

It’s not Christmas at the Staples Center without a little celebrity sighting, right? Well, Davis picked Kevin Hart out of the stands and landed right on top of the actor before halftime.

UPDATE: The Lakers finished the first half strong, taking a 63-51 lead after a bad foul by Paul George on Anthony Davis at halfcourt. The Lake Show finished on a 17-2 run. LeBron James has 8 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Kyle Kuzma has been a huge help off the bench with 19 points. Kawhi has 18 for the Clippers, but the rest of the team hasn’t stepped up, including George, who only has seven points.

Here’s a look at that KCP chase-down block earlier in the game.

UPDATE: Patrick Beverley hits a layup and is given a technical for taunting. Then the Clippers come back down the court and Montrezl Harrell is rejected by JaVale McGee. Nice pace to this game so far. Still close with Clippers leading 45-44. There have already been 13 lead changes in this game and we aren’t even at halftime.

UPDATE: Kentavious Caldwell-Pope just had a huge block on Landry Shamet on a breakaway attempt but he’s shaken up and going back to the locker room early in the second quarter. The Lakers are saying he’ll be able to return to the game after getting his ankle taped up.

UPDATE: After the first quarter, the Lakers lead 33-31 after a big 3-pointer to end the frame by Kyle Kuzma. He’s got 15 points in six minutes off the bench for the Lakers. Kawhi Leonard is leading the Clips with 14 points. Lakers win the first quarter, so that’s big for bettors. Buckle up kids.

UPDATE: So far so good in Clippers-Lakers. Both teams are trading baskets and its tied in the first quarter. AD with six points and Kawhi Leonard has five early on.

UPDATE: James is now in 2nd on the all-time games played on Christmas list.

UPDATE: Early going and LeBron went down, he’s shaking things off but worth noting that he was questionable for this game due to a thoracic injury. If you remember, he got hurt last Christmas as well.

Keep it here for all the latest score updates, highlights and analysis from Clippers vs. Lakers!

Updated Top Fantasy Performers

Here are the top 6 performers on the slate on DraftKings after the first three games. We’ve still got two more on tap with the Clippers and Lakers coming up next!

Damion Lee in the top 5 and James Harden and Russell Westbrook also put up big numbers despite the tough loss to the Warriors.

Rockets vs. Warriors final score: 116-104

UPDATE: The Warriors did the impossible on Christmas, defeating their first winning team all season. Golden State cruised to a 116-104 victory at home behind Damion Lee and Draymond Green. James Harden was held to just 24 points and the rest of Houston wasn’t able to compensate.

UPDATE: Draymond just sealed the win with a 3 and joined elite company on Christmas.

UPDATE: The Warriors are on track for one of the biggest upsets of the regular season so far. If you looked at the graphic from DK Sportsbook, 88% of the handle on this game was going to the Rockets. So the 12% of handle on the Dubs is going to be paid out handsomely.

UPDATE: If you would have asked somebody who hasn’t paid attention to anything this season, they’d probably think Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry were healthy. Draymond Green is hitting shots and playing great defense. Damion Lee is having the game of his career, and D’Angelo Russel has 20 points. Golden State is on its way to an X-Mas Day upset over Houston.

UPDATE: Okay, so the Warriors have a chance to tie this game. Damion Lee has 22 points to lead all scorers and 15 rebounds. Ridiculously he’s up at 50.25 DKFP on DraftKings and was only $5,400 for this slate. He’s essentially the Christmas Day Slate Breaker right now.

Lakers injury update

A quick update from Lakers coach Frank Vogel just came down.

LeBron and AD are confirmed available to play tonight vs. the Clippers. So we should see all the stars out in Los Angeles for a huge Western Conference showdown.

Rockets vs. Warriors Live Updates

UPDATE: Who would have thought Rockets-Dubs would be the closest game heading into halftime so far on Christmas. Not me. Russ and Harden have a combined 37 points, while Damion Lee has 17 points and 11 rebounds for Golden State. Outside of them, not much else happening in this one. Warriors are in good shape to cover if they don’t let this go in the second half. We’re also looking at the OVER potentially hitting as well.

UPDATE: We’re almost at halftime and all is right in the world of basketball. Harden and Russ have a combined 32 points and the Rockets are getting a comfortable lead on the Warriors. This was the largest spread of the Christmas Day slate, though the Warriors are still hanging around. Westbrook has 18 points and six rebounds, while Harden has 14 points and six assists so far.

UPDATE: The Rockets hold a 29-28 lead after the first quarter vs. the Dubs. Harden has been quiet with just three points. Russell Westbrook has 12 points to lead all scorers. The Dubs are looking good to cover the wide spread at this point, but it’s still early. Harden will eventually get it going.

Just like we all wrote it up. After two blowouts in games we figured would be close, the Warriors are up on the Rockets at home. The Dubs entered as double-digit underdogs at home and are getting whatever they want on offense really. D’Angelo Russell looks good in the early going with five points.

Bucks vs. 76ers Final Score: 121-109

UPDATE: The Sixers handed the Bucks their worst loss of the season in a blowout win on Christmas day. Philly hit a franchise record 21 three-pointers in the win. Embiid finished with 31 points and 55.75 DKFP. Ben Simmons was second in fantasy scoring with 55.25 DKFP on 15-7-14. Harris and Richardson combined for 40 points. This was the most impressive performance from the Sixers all season. They entered as -2.5 underdogs at home going into tip-off and absolutely crushed the Bucks.

Giannis finished with 18 points and was 0-7 from long range in one of his worst games of the season. He still put up an 18-14-7 stat line, while Khris Middleton dropped 31 points, coming on late in garbage time. Both went over 50 DKFP, but the rest of Milwaukee’s roster was ice cold.

UPDATE: Giannis is sitting out the rest of the fourth quarter after being hit in the face. It seems his eye is bothering him, which is unfortunately considering the Bucks were actually making it somewhat of a game. But Philly will go on to win following back-to-back 3’s by Harris and Horford.

UPDATE: The Sixers have pretty much put this out of reach and to make matters worse Giannis is down after taking a shot to the face. Giannis just got a technical foul for complaining to the ref after being hit in the face. After replay, Giannis was swiped in the face by Josh Richardson but the refs missed the call. Understandable, but also you’re not helping getting the technical about to go down by 20 points again.

UPDATE: Embiid is up to 23 points and the Sixers are running the Bucks and Giannis out of Wells Fargo Center. This isn’t even a game. The Greek Freak has no help whatsoever and Embiid is dominating when Giannis is off the court. Ben Simmons is on pace for a triple-double. Tobias Harris and Josh Richardson had combined for 28 points. Everything is going right for Philly.

Giannis and Embiid are both over 30 DKFP, with Embiid leading the way at 37.25 at halftime. Simmons isn’t far behind them at 27.25.

UPDATE: Philly continues to be more active on defense and is forcing turnovers. Ben Simmons has a couple steals and a block. Embiid not doing much scoring since his big first quarter, but Tobias Harris has picked up the slack with 12 points. Giannis needs some help from anywhere if the Bucks want to get back in it. Sixers up 53-39. Are we getting another blowout? ...

UPDATE: Sixers leading 38-30 after the first. Embiid is up to 14 points and Giannis has 5-4-4 through one quarter. Both players were high priced but are on pace for big games on DraftKings. The pace is way up and the defense isn’t really playing a factor yet. Bucks-Sixers crushed the 1Q OVER and Sixers are looking like an easy cover at this point. Giannis needs to get inside and get Milwaukee back in the game.

UPDATE: Giannis is off to a hot start in this one with 13.25 DKFP in just over 5:00 minutes. Looking like he’s on pace for an easy triple-double. This game could be really tight down to the wire as well.

Bucks-Sixers is about to get underway. Giannis vs. Embiid. Let’s hope this game is more exciting than the Celtics-Raptors blowout.

Celtics vs. Raptors Final Score: 118-102

UPDATE: That’s a wrap from Toronto. Jaylen Brown led the way with 30 points for the Celtics and Boston got its first win in Toronto in a while, since 2015. The Celtics covered the spread and the OVER hit, so if you had both of those, good on you. Here are the top 5 scorers from the game on DraftKings.

UPDATE: Pending a miracle, the Raptors will lose their first game to a division opponent at home in the past 35, which is nuts.

UPDATE: VanVleet is up to 23 points and is leading fantasy scoring with 48 DKFP. Hayward is up to 33.75 on the day and Boucher is over 30 DKFP as well. He’s getting garbage time, so he should add to that number, making for one of the top value plays at $4,800.

UPDATE: Tatum just dunked on Chris Boucher, but it hit Boucher’s hand on the way through and bounced out. Stevens is challenging the no-dunk call so we shouldn’t have a Rockets-Spurs situation. If by some act of God the dunk is disallowed, can the Raptors use the momentum to come back like San Antonio? Stay tuned!

UPDATE: Celtics up to their biggest lead of the day at 20 points. Frustration setting in for the Raptors and coach Nick Nurse here.

UPDATE: Jaylen Brown is having himself a game on Christmas. He’s up to 27 points and is leading all scorers on DraftKings with 38.25 DKFP. At $6,800, Brown was likely low owned in this game and could end up being a top GPP play when it’s all said and done.

UPDATE: Raptors are down by 13, Lowry is doing everything to cut into the lead. Kanter is destroying the Raptors down low and has 12 points and seven rebounds. Boston hasn’t stepped on the Raps throat yet though, still hanging around.

UPDATE: OG has had a rough day. Gets a huge block on Kanter and misses the transition layup. Needs to make that there. Celtics now up by 17 and this one could be over.

UPDATE: Celtics pulling away. Kemba Walker just nailed a 3-pointer and is up to 20 points to lead all scorers. Boston up 73-59. This one is starting to get ugly. Raptors have no answer for Celtics on offense and can’t keep up with the scoring. Looking like an easy cover for Boston.

UPDATE: Second half is underway. Raptors still getting killed by turnovers and missed opportunities. Celtics doing enough to keep Toronto at bay. Raps need to tighten up on defense or else this will get out of hand.

UPDATE: We’ll go to halftime in the first game of Christmas Day with the Celtics leading the Raptors 55-47. Kemba Walker and Chris Boucher are your leading scorers with 13 points a piece. The Celtics covered both quarter spreads and are on pace to cover the -4 closing spread.

Some notable fantasy performances so far via the DK Live Dashboard:

UPDATE: Lowry is back on the bench and is checking back into the game, which is great news for the Raptors. FVV getting it going and Toronto is down 53-45 with under 2:00 to play in first half.

UPDATE: Couple of injuries to track. Grant Williams is available to return after dislocating his index finger. Lowry just went to the locker room early, but it’s almost halftime, so hopefully he’s OK.

UPDATE: Pascal Siakam just told ESPN that there’s still not return timetable for his groin injury. He’s considered day-to-day still.

UPDATE: Boucher and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson are providing a spark off the bench with Lowry facilitating. Celtics lead is down to 35-32 with 7:27 left in the second.

UPDATE: Raptors still hanging around but still not a lot of energy in the arena. You’d think Toronto was down by 20. This is Christmas, these fans need to get it going. Raptors down 35-30 in the second.

UPDATE: We’ve got our first injury with Grant Williams going back to the locker room. He took a knee to the thigh/midsection on a drive by Chris Boucher in the first quarter.

UPDATE: First quarter is in the books. The spread of Celtics -1 hit on DK Sportsbook and the UNDER also hit after the line was 53. Boston up 28-19 after first. Hayward (14 DKFP) and Tatum (13 DKFP) are your leading fantasy scorers so far. Ibaka at 12.75 DKFP has some flames next to his name.

UPDATE: Celtics now up to a 20-4 run after going down 10-0 early on. Raptors cold from the field, struggling with Kyle Lowry out of the lineup to end the first quarter.

UPDATE: Checking in on the DK Live dashboard, Serge Ibaka and Gordon Hayward are your early fantasy leaders with 12.00 DKFP each.

UPDATE: Narratives are garbage because now the Raptors have turned the ball over three times and the Celtics have pulled within 10-9. Also, Jayson Tatum is bad at trying to draw fouls. Is it because he’s only 21? Probably. But he’s only 21, you guys.

UPDATE: If this tweet teaches us anything it’s RESPECT THE NARRATIVE!

UPDATE: Raptors off to a hot start up 10-0 and the Celtics start the game 0-for-5 from the field. So we’ve got a timeout for Boston down big early on.

UPDATE: Celtics Starting lineup is out.

UPDATE: My favorite player prop on DK Sportsbook is OG Anunoby OVER 12.5 points. Think Boston will try to lock down Lowry and FVV, OG has at least 12 points in five of the past seven games.

UPDATE: We’re at tip-off basically and here are the lines on DK Sportsbook:

I still like the Raptors and the UNDER. Kyle Lowry first game on Christmas narrative alive and strong.

We’re almost at tip-off of the first game, Boston at Toronto. Not much changed from the injury report other than Hayward will start and Smart is out. The Raptors will roll with the same lineup they’ve been using with Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Norman Powell sidelined.

If the line doesn’t move anymore before noon, the Raptors will go into this game +4 at home. I still think Toronto has a good chance of pulling out the win despite the injuries. The game should be tight also, so if it’s close, I’d imagine the UNDER of 214.5 is more appealing on DraftKings Sportsbook.

Christmas Morning Injury Report

There aren’t many notable injuries, but here are a few to track for the Christmas Day five-game slate:

LeBron James (thoracic muscle) — Expected to play
Anthony Davis (knee) — Expected to play
Gordon Hayward (foot) — Probable
Marcus Smart (eye) — OUT
Patrick Beverley (groin) — Will Play
Glenn Robinson III (ankle) — Probable
Eric Gordon (knee) — OUT
Thabo Sefolosha (illness) — Doubtful
Kevon Looney (abdominal) — OUT

UPDATE: The Raptors will roll with the same lineup, with Patrick McCaw and OG Anunoby starting for Pascal Siakam and Marc Gasol.

UPDATE: Hayward is good to go, per coach Brad Stevens.

Welcome to the DKNation Christmas Day NBA Live Blog! Here we’ll provide everything you need for your festive Christmas five-game slate, including TV schedule, injury updates, highlights, betting and fantasy basketball analysis. You name it, we’ve got it. The only thing we don’t have are annoying relatives getting in the way of your basketball viewing (just kidding Grandma, I love you). Anyway, we’ve got five games on the schedule today with a couple of intriguing matchups between top teams in each conference.

Game Time/TV Channel/Streaming

Boston Celtics (20-7) at Toronto Raptors (21-9), 12:00 p.m. ET

You can watch Celtics-Raptors on ESPN and stream the game on the WatchESPN app on your computer or mobile device.

Preview: The Celtics enter as the No. 2 seed in the East while the Raptors are in fourth place in the conference. Toronto is dealing with big injuries to key players, including Pascal Siakam, Marc Gasol and Norman Powell. But Kyle Lowry has been playing out of his mind lately and the Raptors haven’t missed a beat. Boston will be without Marcus Smart (eye infection), who is hoping to return sometime before or after the New Year. Gordon Hayward is probable, however, so the Celtics will have most of the roster ready to go.

Milwaukee Bucks (27-4) at Philadelphia 76ers (22-10), 2:30 p.m. ET

You can watch Bucks-Sixers on ABC and also stream the game on the WatchESPN app on your computer or mobile device.

Preview: The Bucks have the best record in the NBA entering Christmas on the back of another potential MVP campaign from Giannis Antetokounmpo. They’re without PG Eric Bledsoe but have a deep bench that has stepped up in his absence. The 76ers were hot, but are now the 5th seed in the East after a three-game losing streak last week. Joel Embiid has been dealing with an illness but should play. This is a matchup between two of the top defensive teams in the NBA.

Houston Rockets (21-9) at Golden State Warriors (7-24), 5:00 p.m. ET

You can watch Rockets-Warriors on ABC and also stream the game on the WatchESPN app on your computer or mobile device.

Preview: The Warriors season is lost thanks to injuries to key players. Stephen Curry has been out for months now, Klay Thompson was never supposed to play this season, and nothing else has seemed to work out for the Dubs. The Rockets brought in Russell Westbrook during the offseason and the marriage between Russ and his former teammate James Harden has been bountiful so far. Harden is on pace to have his best scoring season in the NBA so far, averaging 38.6 points per game. Plus, the Rockets enter hot on a four-game winning streak and could end this game early.

Los Angeles Clippers (22-10) at Los Angeles Lakers (24-6), 8:00 p.m. ET

You can watch Clippers-Lakers on ABC and also stream the game on the WatchESPN app on your computer or mobile device.

Preview: The Lakers had some question marks entering the Battle of Los Angeles, but it appears LeBron James (rib) and Anthony Davis (knee) are expected to play. So it’ll be LeBron and AD vs. Kawhi Leonard and Paul George for the first time, which is very exciting. This is a potential Western Conference Finals preview and a huge game for both sides in the standings.

New Orleans Pelicans (8-23) at Denver Nuggets (21-8), 10:30 p.m. ET

You can watch Pelicans-Nuggets on ESPN and also stream the game on the WatchESPN app on your computer or mobile device.

Preview: It seems rare that the NBA gets a Christmas Day game wrong, but this one they didn’t really see coming. No Zion Williamson for the Pelicans makes this game basically meaningless. Plus, New Orleans is effectively not going to be in the playoff race. The Nuggets are holding down 2nd place in the West and are on a seven-game winning streak. Like the Rockets-Dubs game, this one could get out of hand fast if Nikola Jokic and Jamal Murray stay hot.

Picks against the Spread

Before I get into these, just note that the lines have moved pretty rapidly throughout the past 24 hours for these games. So I’m picking them Tuesday night and sticking to ‘em.

Celtics vs. Raptors (+3.5)
Bucks (-3) vs. Sixers
Rockets (-11) vs. Warriors
Clippers (+2) vs. Lakers
Pelicans vs. Nuggets (-9.5)

I think the two high spreads stay true and those teams take care of business pretty easily. Maybe the Pels keep it close, but the way the Nuggets offense is playing right now I just don’t see it. Harden should beat the Warriors singlehandedly. I think Celtics-Raptors will be a tight game and the way Lowry has Toronto playing I’m not worried about the injuries. Honestly, no Smart hurts Boston in this matchup more.

I think the Bucks coast against the Sixers, but that’s just me. Philly is good at home, but Milwaukee is too much for Embiid and Ben Simmons to handle. As for The Battle of Los Angeles, well, I’m going to lean Kawhi and PG over LeBron and AD in a tight one. I think LeBron is a bit banged up and I think the Clippers will want to make another statement like they did on opening night without George. Maybe Patrick Beverley’s status swings things a bit, but I still think this game is close and I’ll take the Clippers getting points.

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