He has found a comfort level in the league now, not only because of his on-court performances but also due to his Philly companions on the team, twins Marcus and Markieff Morris. After Christmas was signed by the Suns before the season, the twins took him into their Scottsdale home, where he has lived since.
Christmas, who previously played a preseason game in Philly in 2012 as a member of the Boston Celtics and was signed out of Temple as a free agent by the Sixers in 2009, owns an endearing personality, never forgetting his Philly roots, grateful for anything and everything and not changed by his new job.
"It's always a good time [coming back to Philly]," Christmas said when the Sixers visited Phoenix nearly a month ago. "When I was with Boston, I came for the preseason and it was a great turnout. People were chanting my name. My parents had bought like 50 or 60 tickets, plus I got tickets from the team. Philly has always looked out for me."
Just to get an idea of how endearing Christmas is, it was because of him that Philly legend and Temple coach Fran Dunphy shaved off his 40-year-old mustache in October 2011. Dunphy made a promise to Christmas that if he graduated, the razor would come out. Much to the delight of Christmas, Dunphy kept his promise and has been hairless on the upper lip since.
"I've definitely had that game marked down when we go to Philly," Christmas said. "Just to show everybody what's been going on, what I've been up to. It's always a good time when I get to Philly."
When he scored 32 points against the Sixers on Saturday night (to go along with 14 rebounds and 10 assists), it was the 10th consecutive game in which Oklahoma City's Kevin Durant scored 30 or more in a game. By comparison, eight times this season a Sixers player has scored 30 or more in a game. Thaddeus Young has done it three times, Michael Carter-Williams and Evan Turner twice and James Anderson once . . . The Sixers have allowed an opponent to register a triple-double in each of the last two games. Toronto's Kyle Lowry, another Philly guy, went for 18 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists on Friday in the Raptors' 104-95 win, while Durant posted his big game in OKC's 103-92 victory . . . The Sixers have allowed over 100 points in six straight games and in 20 of their past 22 . . . The Sixers have scored below 100 points in nine of their past 11 games. They are 2-20 when scoring below 100.
On Twitter: @BobCooney76
Blog: ph.ly/SixervilleBy Bob Cooney