A slam-dunk Christmas

The Baltimore Sun

On Christmas, the NBA gives the gift of basketball - five games broadcast nationally on ESPN, ABC and TNT, the first of which is a yuletide plum, pitting Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic against the Chris Paul-led New Orleans Hornets. The Magic battled an injury bug in the early going, but that hasn't stopped them from winning 13 of their first 17 games. After a breakthrough 2007-2008 season, a relatively slow 9-6 start has everyone in New Orleans asking why. (Noon, ESPN)

The second game of ABC's doubleheader is a clash of two teams who met in last season's NBA Finals and whom many pick to lock horns in June when Kevin Garnett and the Boston Celtics take on Pau Gasol and the Los Angeles Lakers. The defending champion Celts have picked up where they left off last year, winning 17 of their first 19 games to lead the Atlantic Division. So, too, have the Lakers, who had a Pacific-leading 14-1 record as of early December. (5 p.m. WMAR, Channel 2)

No holiday for Howie: James Calhoun of California, a father of 13, rotates rounds with two of his children on Deal or No Deal, hoping to be able to provide his family with an extravagant holiday. Then Matt Zedwick, a veteran from Oregon, attempts to win enough money to buy a house. Howie Mandel hosts. (8 p.m., WBAL, Channel 11)

Disney parade: The mouse and his buddies greet fans at their theme parks for the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade. The annual special has become a Christmas-morning tradition in many households. (10 a.m. WMAR, Channel 2)

Late night guests: Terry Bradshaw visits Jimmy Kimmel Live and Stephen Colbert and Kristen Stewert stop by Late Show with David Letterman.

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