National Basketball Association releases 2019-20 schedule, doubleheaders to tip off earlier

National Basketball Association releases 2019-20 schedule, doubleheaders to tip off earlier

The Raptors visit L.A. a month earlier on Nov 11.

The LA Clippers will open the 2019-2020 season with a home matchup against the Los Angeles Lakers on October 22, the league's opening night. The home games, ranging from October 28 to November 11, will be played against the Charlotte Hornets, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz, Milwaukee Bucks, Portland Trail Blazers and Toronto Raptors.

The sixth annual Giants of Africa game celebrating the legacy of Nelson Mandela on his birthday, December 5, against the Houston Rockets. Giannis Antetokounmpo, last season's MVP, will lead the Milwaukee Bucks north of the border twice - February 25 and April 3. Toronto's only other appearance in the NBA's prestigious Christmas lineup was against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden in 2001.

- LA Clippers at Golden State (10:30 p.m.): Two-time Kia NBA MVP Stephen Curry and the Warriors play their first regular-season game at Chase Center in San Francisco. March 16 - This time the Warriors return to Toronto.

There is a reasonable chance shooting guard Klay Thompson will be in the Golden State lineup following his recovery from a torn ACL against the Raptors in the Finals.

They'll also host the top contenders in the east twice: last year's top seed Milwaukee on Saturday, Nov. 16 and Wednesday, Feb. 12, last year's playoff opponent Boston on Wednesday, Dec. 11 and Tuesday, Mar. 10, National Basketball Association champion Toronto on Monday, Dec. 23 and Friday, Feb. 7 and Philadelphia on Tuesday, Dec. 31 and Monday, Jan. 13.

- For the third season in a row, no team is scheduled to play a stretch with four games in five days. After playing at Denver, they'll return home for two games against the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic before embarking on their second (and final) six-game road trip of the season.

Furthermore, back-to-backs are at an all-time low for a fifth-straight campaign. Seven of those back-to-backs will be entirely on the road.

They have 11 sets of back-to-back games and six national television games highlighted by a February 27 game against Portland on TNT.

The NBA schedule finally released this afternoon, and the LA Clippers didn't catch any breaks - at least not for the first half of the season. It's a reversal of last season, which began with the Sixers visiting the Celtics in Boston (with the Cs winning). The number of doubleheaders at 8 p.m./10:30 p.m. ET on the two networks has been reduced by a combined 42 percent from last season (57 in 2018-19 compared with 33 in 2019-20). The league will be on a break with no games from February 14-19. The playoffs will also start one week later.

The first 10 games in particular will be especially hard, considering superstar forward Paul George may not be available to play any of them.

In upcoming matchups featuring stars returning to their old teams, Lakers big man Anthony Davis will return to New Orleans and Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving is in Boston on November 27.

Kawhi Leonard will make his return to Toronto on December 11 as the LA Clippers visit the defending champion Raptors.

- Boston at Philadelphia (7:30 p.m.): Five-time All-Star Al Horford of the 76ers and three-time All-Star Kemba Walker of the Celtics debut with their respective teams.

The new Heat forward will have a whole slew of reunions this year, including October 27 when Miami goes to Minnesota and on November 23 when the Heat visit Philadelphia.

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