Plenty of intrigue on NBA's Christmas schedule

Timberwolves Heat Basketball

Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade celebrates after scoring against the Minnesota Timberwolves during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2012, in Miami. The Heat won 103-92. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Cavaliers Celtics Basketball

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce (34) acknowledges the crowd as he leaves the court late in the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Cleveland Cavaliers in Boston, Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012. Pierce scored 40 points to lead the Celtics to a 103-91 victory. Celtics forward Chris Wilcox watches at left. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Grizzlies Rockets Basketball

Houston Rockets' Omer Asik (3) grabs a rebound in front of Memphis Grizzlies' Rudy Gay (22) in the second half of an NBA basketball game on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012, in Houston. The Rockets won 121-96. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

Lakers Warriors Basketball

Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant (24) reacts after scoring against the Golden State Warriors during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Saturday, Dec. 22, 2012. Los Angeles won in overtime 118-115. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The NBA's hottest team will be playing at home in Los Angeles, and it's the Clippers, not the Lakers.
There's a finals rematch in Miami, a holiday matinee in Brooklyn, Kobe vs. the Knicks and the 20th anniversary of one of Michael Jordan's most memorable games in Chicago.
Welcome to Christmas, NBA style.
A five-game slate makes up the NBA's Christmas schedule, which this year comes with the additional bonus of not being the first day back after a lockout forced the cancellation of the opening portion of last season.
Schedule-makers set the matchups long ago, and the league always tries to get some marquee meetings.
This year, they pretty much struck gold.