Lakers to play Warriors on NBA’s opening night, Nets on Christmas

A view from above as Lakers' LeBron James drives to the rim past Brooklyn Nets' Kyrie Irving
Lakers forward LeBron James drives past Brooklyn guard Kyrie Irving during a game on Jan. 23, 2020. The Lakers and Nets will play on Christmas this season.
(Frank Franklin II / Associated Press)

The Lakers have been slotted for two of the NBA’s marquee matchups for the upcoming season, with an opening-night game Oct. 19 against Golden State, and a Christmas game against Brooklyn.

The full schedule for the NBA’s 2021-22 season will be revealed Friday at noon PDT, but the league on Tuesday announced the nationally televised matchups during its opening week and Christmas. The Lakers will play the Warriors at 7 p.m. on TNT and three days later, on Oct. 22, they will host Western Conference champion Phoenix at 7 p.m. on ESPN.

Their Christmas matchup against Brooklyn’s Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving is slated for a 5 p.m. tipoff — the first time since 2018 that Durant and LeBron James are scheduled to face each other. It will also be a reunion of Durant and his former Oklahoma City teammate, Russell Westbrook, the new Lakers point guard.


Dishing out disparate answers while dribbling through varying narratives, Russell Westbrook was difficult to corner and impossible to read during introductory news conference.

Aug. 11, 2021

The Clippers will travel to San Francisco for their first nationally televised game on Oct. 21 against the Warriors (7 p.m., TNT). The Clippers will not play on Christmas after playing on the league’s showcase day each of the last two years.

NBA opening week schedule (all times Pacific)

Oct. 19

Brooklyn at Milwaukee, 4:30 p.m., TNT

Golden State at Lakers, 7 p.m., TNT

Oct. 20

Boston at New York, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

Denver at Phoenix, 7 p.m., ESPN

Oct. 21

Dallas at Atlanta, 4:30 p.m., TNT

Clippers at Golden State, 7 p.m., TNT

Oct. 22

Brooklyn at Philadelphia, 4:30 p.m., ESPN

Phoenix at Lakers, 7 p.m., ESPN

NBA Christmas Day schedule

Atlanta at New York, 9 a.m., ESPN

Boston at Milwaukee, 11:30 a.m., ABC

Golden State at Phoenix, 2 p.m., ABC

Brooklyn at Lakers, 5 p.m. ABC/ESPN

Dallas at Utah, 7:30 p.m., ESPN