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NBA releases 2019-20 regular season schedule

Lakers face Clippers on opening night (October 22) and on Christmas Day; Kawhi Leonard returns to Toronto with Clippers to face Raptors on December 11

Saturday 17 August 2019 09:10, UK

LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard tussle for a rebound
Image: LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard tussle for a rebound

The NBA has released its complete game schedule for the 2019-20 regular season. The league's 74th regular season will tip off on Tuesday, October 22, 2019 and conclude on Wednesday, April 15, 2020.

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On opening night, LeBron James and Anthony Davis will face Kawhi Leonard and - if fit - Paul George as the Los Angeles Lakers face the LA Clippers. No 1 draft pick Zion Williamson will also be in action as the New Orleans Pelicans visit defending NBA champions the Toronto Raptors.

Leonard, who led the Raptors to their maiden NBA title in June, will return to Toronto with the Clippers on December 11.

NBA 2019-20 opening week schedule - credit NBA
Image: NBA 2019-20 opening week schedule - credit NBA
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The Golden State Warriors, who lost Kevin Durant to the Brooklyn Nets in free agency, face a stern test of their revamped roster on October 24 when they host the Clippers.

The following day, 2018-19 Rookie of the Year Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks will face off against Williamson and the Pelicans in New Orleans.

Giannis Antetokounmpo soars for a huge dunk against the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
Image: Giannis Antetokounmpo soars for a huge dunk against the Toronto Raptors in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals

Defending regular-season MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, bested by Leonard in last season's Eastern Conference Finals, will get another crack at Kawhi on November 6 when the Milwaukee Bucks visit the Clippers.

Instances of teams playing games on back-to-back days will be an all-time low for the fifth straight season. Teams will play an average of four back-to-backs in the 2019-20 season, down 36 per cent since the 2014-15 season (19.3 per team) and a seven per cent reduction from last season (13.3 per team).

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For the third season in a row, no team is scheduled to play a stretch with four games in five days.

A record 48 games will air in primetime in Europe with 24 games each on Saturday and Sunday. European fans will have a full slate of primetime games on both Saturday and Sunday for the first time.

Schedule highlights

Christmas Day

NBA 2019-20 Christmas Day schedule
Image: NBA 2019-20 Christmas Day schedule
Joel Embiid launches a three-pointer over Giannis Antetokounmpo
Image: Joel Embiid launches a three-pointer over Giannis Antetokounmpo

The NBA will feature five games on Christmas Day for the 12th year in a row.

Martin Luther King Jr Day

Zion Williamson flexes after scoring in his Summer League debut
Image: Zion Williamson flexes after scoring in his Summer League debut

An extensive slate of games will be spread across Martin Luther King Jr Day, Monday, January 20, 2020. These include:

Team LeBron's Kevin Durant hammers home a dunk en route to a team-high 31 points
Image: Team LeBron's Kevin Durant hammers home a dunk en route to a team-high 31 points at the 2019 All-Star Game

The All-Star break will begin on February 14 with the 2020 All-Star game on February 16 in Chicago. The league will be on a break with no games from February 14-19. Every team will have at least seven days off.

The schedule also features a record 48 primetime games for Europe (afternoon start times in North America, primetime for European time zones), and the first-ever slate of Saturday primetime games for Europe.

The regular season concludes on April 15 with 26 of the 30 teams in action that night.

Sky Sports will announce its selection of live NBA games in September.

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