Sixers vs. Knicks on Christmas Day: James Harden breaks news of holiday game

Harden breaks news of Sixers' Christmas Day matchup originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

James Harden apparently felt compelled to share an inside scheduling scoop Sunday night.

The Sixers’ All-Star guard tweeted “Christmas in the garden!”

Veteran NBA reporter Marc Stein confirmed that “Sixers at Knicks is indeed on ESPN/ABC’s preliminary Christmas schedule.” And The Athletic’s Shams Charania later reported the league’s full five-game slate. Bucks at Celtics is the only other game between Eastern Conference teams on the Christmas calendar.

The 2017-18 Sixers also spent Christmas at Madison Square Garden as Joel Embiid scored 25 points and JJ Redick added 24 in a 105-98 win over the Knicks. That victory improved the team to 15-18. Incredibly, the Sixers lost just 12 of their final 49 games from that point.

The Sixers’ 2017 win in New York broke a 16-year run without a Christmas appearance. They ultimately played three straight years on the holiday, suffering an overtime loss to the Celtics in 2018 and beating the Bucks at Wells Fargo Center in 2019.

Harden enjoyed his one previous Sixers experience at the Garden, recording a 29-point triple-double on Feb. 27 in his second outing with the team. Embiid made 23 free throws and attempted 27, setting new career highs in both categories, and the Sixers pulled away from the Knicks late. 

The NBA will release its full schedule this week, Stein reported. The Sixers’ four-game preseason will begin with an Oct. 3 matchup against the Nets in Brooklyn.

As for the regular season, all 82 Sixers games should be official soon. And perhaps Harden has some more news up his sleeve.