N.B.A. Game of the Week: Oklahoma City Thunder at Los Angeles Clippers

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Clippers Coach Doc Rivers, left, with Chris Paul. Paul lamented the low quality of the Clippers’ play. “We’re not a team that anybody needs to be worried about, I’ll tell you that,” he said.

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Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Every week, The New York Times will choose one essential game to watch, highlighting hot teams, winning and losing streaks and statistical intrigue in the N.B.A.

The centerpiece of this season’s Christmas Day games is a 2015 N.B.A. finals retread: The Golden State Warriors face the Cleveland Cavaliers in California. It will be the first time that LeBron James and Stephen Curry have met since the finals, and it will be worth watching. But if the Warriors play at the level that has astounded the league this season, it may not be much of a game — and in any case, it is not one that anyone needs to be told to watch.

A better competition, for the slightly less casual fan, could take place on Tuesday, when the Oklahoma City…

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