LeBron James finds himself on a familiar stage when the Lakers host the Nets on Christmas Day.

2021 will mark the 16th time in James’ 19-year career that he’s played on the holiday, and he enters the game just 12 points shy of tying Kobe Bryant for the all-time leader in points scored on Christmas. 

Since returning from an abdominal injury and a one-game absence in the league’s health and safety protocols, James has taken his game to another level, serving as the difference-maker for a Lakers team that has experienced its fair share of struggles in the early part of the season.

MORE: LeBron turning back time with performance

Standing in the way of James and the Lakers are the Nets, who have looked like every bit of an NBA title contender despite not truly fielding a full roster this season. In addition to an injury to sharpshooter Joe Harris, superstar guard James Harden missed time within the league’s health and safety protocols while superstar Kyrie Irving was only recently permitted to join the team on Dec. 17.

MORE: Why Kyrie is rejoining the Nets

While Kevin Durant has done everything in his power to keep this team atop the Eastern Conference, he won’t be available on Christmas after being placed into the league’s health and safety protocols. Harden, however, was cleared to play, meaning he’ll be tasked with leading the shorthanded Nets on Christmas.

In the history of the NBA, only seven players have a scoring title  and  an assists title to their name. Three of them will take the floor in this game, with Harden, James and Russell Westbrook playing major roles for their respective teams.

Can Harden make his presence felt in his first game back? 

NBA League Pass: Sign up to unlock live out-of-market games (7-day free trial)

What time does Lakers vs. Nets start? 

  • Date:  Saturday, Dec. 25
  • Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

What channel is Lakers vs. Nets on?

Lakers schedule 2021-22

DateOpponentTime (ET)National TV
Dec. 28at Rockets8:00 PM
Dec. 29at Grizzlies8:00 PMNBA TV
Dec. 31vs. Trail Blazers10:30 PMNBA TV
Jan. 2vs. Timberwolves9:30 PM
Jan. 4vs. Kings10:30 PMNBA TV

Nets schedule 2021-22

DateOpponentTime (ET)National TV
Dec. 27at Clippers10:30 PMNBA TV
Dec. 30vs. 76ers7:00 PMNBA TV
Jan. 1vs. Clippers7:30 PM
Jan. 3vs. Grizzlies7:30 PMNBA TV
Jan. 5at Pacers7:30 PM

NBA schedule for 2021-22

After a truncated season in 2020-21, the NBA has returned to its standard 82-game format for the 2021-22 campaign, which is the league’s 75th anniversary season.

Here are some key dates for the 2021-22 NBA season:

  • Trade Deadline:  Feb. 10
  • NBA All-Star 2022:  Feb. 18-20
  • Regular season concludes:  April 10
  • Play-In Tournament:  April 12-15
  • Playoffs begin:  April 16
  • NBA Finals begin:  June 2
  • 2022 NBA Draft:  June 23