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Schedule revealed for NBA’s tip-off games, Christmas match-ups



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By RJ Saunders

The league’s 73rd season will tip off on Tuesday, Oct. 16. and the NBA has now unveiled some of the marquee games that will be played on opening night, Christmas, and Martin Luther King Jr. day.

Opening week will showcase plenty of exciting matchups as players suiting up for their new ball clubs and rookies make their debuts.

Opening Night

The Celtics, who are presumed to be the favorites in the east will be at full strength as Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward return. Boston will face-off against their biggest threat for the Eastern Conference crown, the Philadelphia 76ers (8 p.m. ET). Also, Oklahoma City, led by Russell Westbrook and Paul George, will look to bring the Thunder down on Golden State’s ring ceremony as the Warriors will celebrate their third championship in four years (10:30 p.m. ET). This will be TNT’s 23rd consecutive season with a doubleheader on opening night, marking Turner Sports’ 35th straight year of NBA coverage.

With a revamped roster, on Oct. 20 the Lakers host the Rockets in what will be LeBron James’ first game at Staples Center as a member of the new look Lakers. However, they’ll have their hands full as they will be face last season’s Western Conference runner ups and reigning MVP James Harden.

Opening night (TNT), October 16:

  • Philadelphia 76ers at Boston Celtics, 8 p.m. ET
  • Oklahoma City Thunderat Golden State Warriors, 10:30 p.m. ET

October 17 (ESPN):

  • New Orleans Pelicansat Houston Rockets, 8 p.m. ET
  • Dallas Mavericksat Phoenix Suns, 10:30 p.m. ET

October 18 (TNT):

October 19(ESPN)

  • Boston Celtics at Toronto Raptors, 8 p.m. ET
  • Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz, 10:30 p.m. ET

October 20

  • Toronto Raptors at Washington Wizards, 7 p.m. ET (NBATV)
  • Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

October 21 (NBA TV):

  • Houston Rockets at LA Clippers, 9 p.m. ET

Christmas Day

There will be five Christmas Day games as usual and all games will be televised on ESPN and ABC. The first game will air at noon eastern on ESPN.

LeBron James will lead the young Lakers to Oakland to face the defending Champion, the Golden State Warriors on Christmas in what could be believed as a potential Western Conference Finals matchup (8 p.m. ET). It will be interesting to see how James has meshed with the young talent around him.

Later Christmas day, Carmelo Anthony, as reported earlier is expected to sign with Houston. With him on the team, the Rockets will seek to get revenge on his former team as the Thunder will come into town (3 p.m. ET).

Here’s a full schedule:

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

 There will be a handful of games played on Martin Luther King Jr. Day this year, three of which will be nationally televised on TNT.

At this point of the season, we’ll see if Anthony is a fit with his new team as the Rockets face Joel Embiid and the Philadelphia 76ers (8 p.m. ET). In addition, after facing each other on Christmas in Oakland, the Warriors will travel to Los Angeles to face LeBron and the Lakers. (10:30 p.m. ET).

  • New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies, 5:30 p.m. ET
  • Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers, 8 p.m. ET
  • Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers, 10:30 p.m. ET

The complete game schedule and broadcast schedules for TNT, ESPN, ABC, NBA TV and ESPN Radio will be announced on Friday, Aug. 10.


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