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Lakers Vs. Bulls: Christmas Day An Annual Tradition For Kobe Bryant, Lakers

The Los Angeles Lakers will host the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day at Staples Center to open their NBA season. Watching the Lakers on Christmas is becoming more of a tradition than Jimmy Stewart and his pals sing Auld Lang Syne. This will be the 14th Christmas game played by Kobe Bryant, more than anyone else in NBA history.

Kobe is currently tied with Earl Monroe, Shaquille O`Neal, and Dolph Schayes for the most Christmas games with 13. Sunday will mark the 13th consecutive year that the Lakers have played on Christmas Day. Here is a look back at the previous 12 yule tide contests:

Lakers On Christmas Day
Year Opponent Result
2010 Miami L, 96-80
2009 Cleveland L, 102-87
2008 Boston W, 92-83
2007 Phoenix W, 122-115
2006 at Miami
L, 101-85
2005 at Miami
L, 97-92
2004 Miami L, 104-102 (OT)
2003 Houston L, 99-87
2002 Sacramento L, 105-99
2001 Philadelphia W, 88-82
2000 Portland L, 109-104
1999 San Antonio W, 99-93

Outside of a pair of trips to Miami during the post Kobe-Shaq divorce period, the Lakers have been home for the holidays. This year will be the fifth straight year they have played at Staples Center on Christmas Day, and 11th time in 13 years playing in Los Angeles on December 25. The Lakers are just 4-8 in their last 12 Christmas encounters, but they hope that by 2 p.m. PST on Sunday, they will be able to beat Derrick Rose and company.

For more Lakers news and analysis, be sure to read the SB Nation blog Silver Screen and Roll.