By Brian Robb, CBS Boston

BOSTON (CBS) – For the second straight year, the Boston Celtics will be enjoying their Christmas with friends and families instead of playing on the hardwood. The Celtics have played on Christmas a whopping 29 times during their 67-year history, but it may be quite awhile until we see them playing yet again on the national NBA showcase, which last came in 2012.

With Rajon Rondo out of the picture after last week’s trade, the Celtics no longer have a superstar. That reality, combined with the fact the team is in the midst of what could be a lengthy rebuild means they won’t be among the cream of the crop in the NBA anytime soon. Hence, we’ll see no more Christmas day games until things change on that front.

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Just because the Celtics aren’t in action though doesn’t mean we can’t look back at some of the best Christmas games of the Big Three era, in a timely edition of Throwback Thursday. Let’s take a walk down memory lane and reflect upon some of the more memorable Christmas day affairs of the past decade.

2008 – Celtics at LA Lakers

The Celtics arrived in Los Angeles as defending champions and had cruised to a 27-2 start at the beginning of the 08-09 regular season behind the stellar play of Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. The Lakers were hungry for revenge however in their first rematch with Boston since suffering a Game 6 drubbing in the NBA Finals from Boston. The Lakers closed out the tight affair with a 13-2 run, giving head coach Phil Jackson his 1,000 career victory in a 92-83 win.

2010 – Celtics at Orlando Magic

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Like 2008, the Boston Celtics came into this affair on fire, riding a 14-game winning streak as they faced off with Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center. The Celtics led by as many as five points in the fourth quarter, but completely collapsed down the stretch, scoring just one point in the game’s final three minutes. Orlando pulled away with a 86-78 win, snapping Boston’s lengthy winning streak.

2012- Celtics at Brooklyn Nets

This was Boston’s most recent Christmas day game and it also doubled as the final year of the Big Three era. Celtics fans watching this one might be confused as several players on the Nets roster (Kris Humphries, Gerald Wallace, Keith Bogans, Marshon Brooks) suited up for Boston a year later after the two teams made a blockbuster deal involving Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce. In what was a very sloppy affair, the Celtics pulled away in the second quarter and cruised to an easy 93-76 win.

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