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Lakers to play Clippers in Dec. 22 season opener

Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard plays defense against Lakers forward LeBron James during a game March 8, 2020.
Clippers forward Kawhi Leonard plays defense against Lakers forward LeBron James during a game last season. They will meet again Dec. 22.
(Andrew D. Bernstein / NBAE via Getty Images)

The Clippers and the Lakers were on a collision course to meet in the Western Conference finals before the Clippers severely stumbled in the playoffs. Now, the two teams will share the court again — at Staples Center — to open the 2020-21 season.

The NBA announced its first week of nationally televised games Tuesday, highlighted by the Lakers and the Clippers meeting at 7 p.m. PST on opening night, Dec. 22, and the Lakers and the Mavericks on Christmas Day. The Clippers will cap Christmas night with a rematch in Denver, which overcame a 3-1 playoff series deficit to advance past the Clippers to the conference finals.

The first half of the NBA schedule is expected to be released sometime this week.

The Golden State Warriors will kick off the 2020-21 season in Brooklyn at 4 p.m. PST, with Kevin Durant playing against his former team before the action moves to Staples Center. Both opening-night games will be on TNT.

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Milwaukee will play at Boston and Dallas will play at Phoenix on national TV at 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., respectively, on Dec. 23.

The Christmas schedule is New Orleans at Miami (9 a.m. PST), Golden State at Milwaukee (11:30 a.m. PST), Brooklyn at Boston (2 p.m. PST), Dallas at the Lakers (5 p.m. PST) and the Clippers at Denver (7:30 p.m. PST).

LeBron James has agreed to a two-year, $85-million contract extension with the Lakers, who could see him become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer in 2022-23.


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