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Clippers’ first-half schedule only has one Lakers game: the season opener

Lakers Anthony Davis, left, and Clippers Kawhi Leonard will face off in the season opener on Dec. 22
All-Star forwards Anthony Davis of the Lakers, left, and Kawhi Leonard of the Clippers will face off in the season opener on Dec. 22, then won’t play again until the second half of season.
(Associated Press)

The Clippers will see the Lakers three times in the upcoming season’s first 11 days, including a pair of preseason games, but after matching up on opening night of the regular season Dec. 22, the teams won’t play each other for at least two more months, according to a schedule of the season’s first half released Friday by the NBA.

Just more than half half of each team’s 72-game schedule was announced in an acknowledgment of how COVID-19 could affect how and when games are played. The schedule for the second half of the regular season, which is expected to run from March through late May, won’t be released until late February or early March. As such, only one of the three regular-season matchups between the Clippers and Lakers is officially set.

The Clippers will open with road games against the Lakers and Denver on Christmas before returning for home games against Dallas, Minnesota and Portland to close December, with the matchups against the Timberwolves and Trail Blazers the first of six back-to-back games scheduled within the team’s 38 games of the first half.

The team is scheduled to play each Sunday for the first 10 weeks. Its longest road trip is a six-game stretch against Atlanta, Miami, Orlando, New York, Brooklyn and Cleveland that begins Jan. 26 and wraps Feb. 3.

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In mid-February, the Clippers begin their longest homestand, against Cleveland, Miami, Utah twice, Brooklyn and Washington.

CLIPPERS 2020-21 SCHEDULE (first half)

(all times Pacific; national TV listed)

DECEMBER

22, at Lakers, 7 pm (TNT); 25, at Denver, 7:30 pm (ESPN); 27, vs. Dallas, 12:30 pm (NBA TV); 29, vs. Minnesota, 7 pm; 30, vs. Portland, 7 pm (NBA TV).

JANUARY

1, at Utah, 6 pm; 3, at Phoenix, 5 pm; 5, vs. San Antonio, 7 pm; 6, at Golden State, 7 pm (ESPN); 8, at Golden State, 7pm (ESPN); 10, vs. Chicago, 1 pm; 13, vs. New Orleans, 7 pm (ESPN); 15, at Sacramento, 7p,; 17, vs. Indiana, 7 pm (NBA TV), 20, vs. Sacramento, 7 pm; 22, vs. Oklahoma City, 7 pm; 24, vs. Oklahoma City, 1 pm; 26, at Atlanta, 4:30 pm; 28, at Miami, 4 pm (TNT); 29, at Orlando, 4 pm; 31, at New York, 2 pm.

FEBRUARY

2, at Brooklyn, 4:30 pm (TNT); 3, at Cleveland, 4 pm; 5, vs. Boston, 7 pm (ESPN); 7, vs. Sacramento, noon; 10, at Minnesota, 5 pm; 12, at Chicago, 5 pm; 14, vs. Cleveland, 7 pm (TNT); 15, vs. Miami, 7 pm (NBA TV); 17, vs. Utah, 7 pm; 19, vs. Utah, 7 pm; 21, vs. Brooklyn, 5 pm (ESPN); 23, Washington, 7 pm; 25, at Memphis, 5 pm; 26, at Memphis, 5 pm; 28, at Milwaukee, 12:30 pm (ABC).

MARCH

2, at Boston, 4:30 pm (TNT); at Washington, 4 pm.

Kawhi Leonard wants you to believe that the coronavirus and other issues outside the Clippers’ control led to last season’s bad finish, but it’s more.


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