In the NBA, there's likely not a bigger stage than Madison Square Garden.
In the regular season, there's likely not a bigger stage than Christmas.
Combined them together and you get the Thunder's holiday plans, with a 1:30 central time tip set for Christmas Day against the Knicks in New York.
“It's gonna be magical,” guard Reggie Jackson said. “It's one of those (things), hopefully I have a realization that it's Madison Square Garden…It's gonna be something special for me personally.”
Because of its current standing among the league's elite, OKC has played on Christmas each of the past three seasons, going 2-1 in games against the Heat, Magic and Nuggets.
But this is the first time the Thunder has battled the Knicks on Christmas, a historic franchise that has played an NBA-high 47 games on the holiday, going 22-25 in those contests.
“It's a privilege to play on Christmas,” Kevin Durant said. “It'll be fun.”
CARMELO ANTHONY GAME-TIME DECISION WITH SPRAINED ANKLE
Within this seemingly lopsided matchup is an always-intriguing personal showdown between top scorers.
Durant and Carmelo Anthony, a duo that has combined for the NBA's last four scoring titles, are once again first and second in the league this year. Durant is averaging 28.1 points, Anthony 26.3.
But on Monday in Orlando, Anthony sprained his right ankle, leaving him questionable for the Christmas game.
“I think I caught it before it rolled all the way,” Anthony told reporters postgame. “But it rolled pretty bad.”
Regardless, Anthony sounded like a guy set on playing.
“I haven't been 100 percent since I came into the NBA. I won't be 100 percent Wednesday, for sure,” he said. “I'll be there. Hopefully I'll be there. I don't want to miss that game. It's Christmas in the Garden.”
Also, for the Knicks, Raymond Felton (groin) is out and Kenyon Martin (abdominal) is questionable.
The Thunder won't be wearing its regular jerseys on Wednesday. Won't be wearing the alternate navy blues, either.
For the second straight year, Thunder players will don some of the league's special Christmas Day threads.
And this year's version will include sleeves, a growing trend among NBA teams that seems to get a lukewarm reaction from fans.
The baby blue sleeved jersey also includes a large OKC logo on the front.
STAT OF THE DAY
In four Christmas games (one with the Sonics), Durant has scored 130 points, the fourth most among active players. Kobe Bryant has scored the most all-time with 284 points in 14 games.
BY ANTHONY SLATER