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Knicks and Nets to both play on Christmas Day

The Knicks' Derrick Rose, left, fouls the Hawks'

The Knicks' Derrick Rose, left, fouls the Hawks' Trae Young in the second half of Game 1 of an NBA first-round playoff series, Sunday, May 23, 2021, in New York. Credit: AP/Seth Wenig

The Knicks and Nets rarely have been good at the same time, but both now are pointing in a positive direction, which has landed them a joint honor not seen around here in eight years.

For the first time since 2013, both New York teams will be included in the biggest showcase of the NBA regular season: Christmas Day.

They also will open their seasons on national TV – the Nets on TNT on Oct. 19 and the Knicks on ESPN on Oct. 20.

The Dec. 25 slate, announced on Tuesday, has the Knicks hosting the Hawks at noon and the Nets visiting the Lakers at 8 p.m., both on ESPN. The Nets game will be simulcast on ABC.

The Knicks might not be realistic championship contenders, but their rematch of a playoff series loss to Atlanta should have plenty of national appeal.

During that series, which the Hawks won in five games, their young star Trae Young became the latest visiting villain at Madison Square Garden.

The Nets, very much a title contender, will face in the Lakers a fellow NBA heavyweight, now featuring Russell Westbrook alongside returning stars LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The other three Christmas Day games are: Celtics at Bucks at 2:30 p.m. on ABC, Golden State at Suns at 5 p.m. on ABC, and Mavericks at Jazz at 10:30 p.m. on ESPN.

The Nets also will be part of the NBA’s Opening Night doubleheader on Oct. 19, with the defending champion Bucks hosting Brooklyn in a rematch of last season’s seven-game Eastern Conference semifinal.

The Knicks will open on ESPN the following night, hosting the Celtics, with Kemba Walker facing his former team.

New York Sports