Top Five NBA Games Played on Thanksgiving in History: Fan’s Opinion

NBA on Thanksgiving

The NBA on Christmas has become one of the best traditions in the NBA. However, the NBA has also played on Thanksgiving throughout most of its history. Although these Thanksgiving games have not typically featured marquee matchups, a number of these games have been memorable in their own right. Take a look back at the top five NBA games played on Thanksgiving in history.

5. 11/24/1977: new Orleans Jazz def. Denver Nuggets 131-129

As a diehard NBA fan living in new Orleans, the Thanksgiving games played by my hometown teams obviously stand out. the Jazz played two Thanksgiving games when the team called new Orleans home. the Thanksgiving win in 1977 paced the Jazz to a 10-8 record en route to a 39-43 record, their best as an NBA franchise in new Orleans. the 260 combined points is the second most on Thanksgiving in NBA history.

4. 11/28/2002: Los Angeles Clippers def. New Jersey Nets 126-118 (OT)

I'm not sure if it was intentional or coincidental by the NBA, but the Clippers and Nets met three years in a row on Thanksgiving in the early 2000s. Not exactly the Los Angeles Lakers vs. Boston Celtics, the Clippers and Nets got their east coast-west coast Thanksgiving rivalry off to a rousing start in 2002 with a thrilling OT game. Andre Miller(notes) was hotter than a Thanksgiving turkey with 37 points and 16 assists for the Clippers.

3. 11/28/1957: New York Knicks def. Boston Celtics 97-80

In the 1957-58 NBA season, the Boston Celtics won their first of 17 NBA titles. that year, the Celtics got off to a 14-0 start and never looked back. However, their 15th game of the season took place on Thanksgiving. Despite the game being played in the Boston Garden on Thanksgiving, the visiting new York Knicks upset the Celtics. that year, the Knicks were one of only two NBA teams that did not qualify for the playoffs.

2. 11/26/1959: Philadelphia Warriors def. Boston Celtics 143-130

Two years later, the Celtics won their second NBA title, but also suffered a historic loss on Thanksgiving. the 1959-60 season also saw the debut of rookie C Wilt Chamberlain for the Warriors. Needless to say, Chamberlain put his mark on the Warriors Thanksgiving game against the Celtics as both teams combined for a Thanksgiving record 273 points. However, the Celtics got their revenge on the Warriors that year in the NBA Playoffs.

1. 11/24/1949: Syracuse Nationals def. Anderson Packers 125-123 (5 OT)

If you don't remember the Anderson Packers NBA franchise, you're probably not alone. In fact, 1949-50 was their only NBA season. However, the Syracuse Nationals went on to become the Philadelphia 76ers. on Thanksgiving in 1949, these two long-forgotten NBA teams played one of the greatest games in NBA history. Their Thanksgiving marathon set the record for the longest game in NBA history and now stands as the second longest ever.

Patrick Michael was born and raised in new Orleans and currently resides in the Big Easy. A loyal new Orleans NBA fan, Patrick was a diehard new Orleans Jazz fan and now cheers for the Hornets. Patrick was in the new Orleans Arena the night the Hornets were one win away from the Western Conference Finals.

"Box Scores," basketball-reference.com

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Updated Nov 24, 12:44 am EST

Top Five NBA Games Played on Thanksgiving in History: Fan’s Opinion


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