Lakers and Clippers will open NBA preseason against each other twice in three days

Lakers forward LeBron James and Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard on the court.
Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard, right, controls the ball in front of Lakers forward LeBron James during the 2019-20 season opener.
(Harry How / Getty Images)

The NBA’s preseason schedule will begin with the defending champion Lakers facing the Clippers twice in three days.

The teams are scheduled to meet at Staples Center on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m., according to the league, which published its preseason schedule Friday.

Ahead of the Dec. 22 regular-season opener, the Lakers are scheduled to play four preseason games, all of which will be broadcast on Spectrum. Following their matchups against the Clippers, they will play at Phoenix on Dec. 16 and then at home against Phoenix on Dec. 18.

The Clippers’ three-game preseason concludes Dec. 17 with a home matchup against Utah. Each game will be broadcast on Prime Ticket and Fox Sports San Diego.


The schedule’s release came hours before Los Angeles County announced restrictions, effective Monday through Dec. 20, that prohibit all public and private gatherings with individuals not in one’s household. It was immediately unclear how the restrictions would affect the Lakers and Clippers’ preparations for the start of the season. Players are allowed by the NBA to begin individual workouts at practice facilities starting Tuesday.

The entire preseason will run Dec. 11 to Dec. 19 and the league said the television schedule will be announced later. It will include a game between Miami and Toronto on Dec. 18 in Tampa, Fla., the city serving as the Raptors’ temporary home this season after the Canadian government denied the team permission to continue its operations in Toronto because of travel restrictions related to COVID-19.

The NBA said the schedule covering the first half of its 72-game regular season will be released “in the coming days.” The second half of the schedule, which will cover games scheduled March 11 to May 16, will be released late in the season’s first half, with the delay allowing the league to include “any games postponed during the first half that can reasonably be added to the second-half schedule.”