NBA Christmas Day 2011: Relive The Best Of Opening Day

Santa brought quite the Christmas present for NBA fans. Check out the best of the day -- including video and gifs -- in this StoryStream. How the NBA became a Christmas staple

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Clippers Vs. Warriors Final Score: Chris Paul, Blake Griffin Lead Los Angeles To 105-86 Win

The new-look Los Angeles Clippers got off to a rocky start, struggling with the Golden State Warriors in the early goings and heading into the half trailing by two. But in the second half, Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and company found their rhythm, opening up a double-digit lead in the third quarter.

The Warriors climbed back into it in the fourth, cutting the Clippers lead to one with just under seven minutes to go. Golden State was able to slow a bit of the Clippers' momentum in the third, employing a Hack-a-DeAndre-Jordan strategy that put Los Angeles' poor free throw shooting big man at the line. It work, at least momentarily, and the Warriors were able to weather the storm as they chipped away at the lead.

In the fourth, after Golden State drew within striking range, Chris Paul and Blake Griffin took over, hitting the throttle and turning a one-point advantage into a 17-point lead in just over six minutes. At one point, Paul looked unstoppable, taking on more of a scoring role as he drained jumpers on back-to-back possessions, taking advantage of defensive stops on the other end.

The end result was a 105-86 win as the Clippers proved to be too much for the Warriors in Mark Jackson's head coaching debut. Griffin led all scorers with 22 points, followed by Chauncey Billups (21 points) and Paul (20). David Lee scored 21 points for the Warriors in the loss.

For updates and analysis of these two teams, visit Clippers blog Clips Nation and Warriors blog Golden State Of Mind.


Bulls Vs. Lakers, Halftime Update: Chicago Heads Into Locker Up By 7

Derrick Rose continued to show why he's the defending NBA MVP during the first half of Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Lakers. The Chicago Bulls took a 56-49 lead into halftime with Rose leading the way. Rose has scored 10 points and dished out four assists so far in his showdown with Kobe Bryant.

It is worth pointing out that Bryant had a pretty decent half himself. Bryant scored 14 points on 6 of 10 shooting to lead all scorers. Among his highlights was this little number in which he pump faked one defender, and then hit a jumper with almost no room in which to get the shot off.

But the half really belonged to Rose, who showcased what has made him such a good player. Not only did he share the team lead in scoring, but he did it on 4 of 5 shooting, including going 2 of 2 from behind the arc.

For the latest updates on all the Christmas Day NBA action, be sure to follow this StoryStream. For more on these teams, check out Bulls blog Blog-a-Bull and Lakers blog Silver Screen and Roll.


Heat Vs. Mavericks, NBA Christmas Day Final Score: Miami Lays 105-94 Beat Down On Defending Champs

The Dallas Mavericks may be the defending NBA champions, but they certainly didn't look like it in their opening day game against the Miami Heat. In front of a national audience looking for a distraction from Christmas Day activities, the Heat jumped out to a 15-point first-quarter lead and never looked back, cruising to a 105-94 win that was not nearly as close as that score makes it look.

The Heat led by 32 at the end of the third quarter and none of their starters were forced to log more than 36 minutes. In fact, only three Heat players logged more than 30 minutes as Chris Bosh, Dwayne Wade and LeBron James were able to mostly enjoy the fourth quarter from the bench.

Bosh, in particular, barely had to do anything. The Heat power forward played just 24 minutes and scored just four points. James and Wade did most of the heavy lifting on offense, combining for 63 points and 12 assists.

It was mostly a forgettable day for the Mavericks, who are clearly still trying to find themselves after some significant offseason changes and an abbreviated preseason. Dirk Nowitzki was just 6 of 15 from the field; Jason Kidd was held to nine points and three assists; and Vince Carter scored just five points while playing just 21 minutes.

For the latest on all the Christmas Day NBA action, be sure to follow this StoryStream. For more on this game, check out Heat blog Peninsula Is Mightier and Mavericks blog Mavs Moneyball.


Celtics Vs. Knicks, NBA Christmas Day Final Score: New York Gets 106-104 Victory At Home

The first game of the 2011-12 NBA season and the first of four on Christmas Day did not disappoint. The New York Knicks, led by Carmelo Anthony, came back in the fourth quarter for a season-opening 106-104 victory.

Anthony scored 17 of his 37 points in the fourth quarter, hitting a number of shots to keep the Knicks in the game late, and hit two free throws with 16 seconds left to finish the comeback. New York outscored Boston 27-17 in the final period.

Amar'e Stoudemire added 21 points for the Knicks, and Toney Douglas had 19 points.

Rajon Rondo, the subject of trade talk in the offseason, starred for the Celtics, with 31 points, 13 assists, and five steals. His great play made up for the absence of Paul Pierce, who sat with an injury.

Ray Allen and Brandon Bass each had 20 points for the Celtics, and Kevin Garnett, who missed a potential game-tying jumper at the buzzer, had 15 points.

For more on the Knicks, visit Posting and Toasting; for more on the Celtics, head to Celtics Blog.

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