The Los Angeles Lakers will face the Phoenix Suns and L.A. Clippers as part of the 2020-21 NBA preseason schedule.
L.A. opens their exhibition schedule by playing host their local rivals on Friday, Dec. 11, at 7 p.m. PT in their return to Staples Center. The Lakers have not played at home since mid-March when the league was shut down due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The showdown will also mark the first game Montrezl Harrell faces his former teammates wearing the purple and gold jersey. The two L.A. teams then square off again two days later at 6:30 p.m.
After that the Lakers travel to Phoenix to play the Suns on Wednesday, Dec. 16, and Friday, Dec. 18; both games scheduled for 6 p.m. The NBA champions will face a solid test in the meeting with their divisional rivals, who are coming off an impressive offseason.
Phoenix added 10-time All-Star Chris Paul to its young, talented team spearheaded by Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.
All NBA teams reportedly had an option of playing either three or four preseason games in the nine-day lead up to the 2020-21 season tipping off Dec. 22. The Lakers decided to schedule four meetings despite the extremely short layoff that could see their veterans receive some extra days off throughout the campaign.
However, the decision seems wise considering the many roster changes L.A. has undergone during the offseason. In addition to Harrell, the Lakers traded for Dennis Schroder and signed veterans Wes Matthews and Marc Gasol.
Among those no longer with the defending champions are Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Dwight Howard, JaVale McGee and Danny Green. Each played a significant role for the Lakers during their successful title challenge last season.
The NBA is yet to release the first part of the regular season schedule.
Complete Lakers 2020-21 preseason schedule
Clippers @ Lakers, Friday, Dec. 11, 7 p.m. (Spectrum SportsNet)
Clippers @ Lakers, Sunday, Dec. 13, 6:30 p.m. (Spectrum SportsNet)
Lakers @ Suns, Wednesday, Dec. 16, 6 p.m. (Spectrum SportsNet)
Lakers @ Suns, Friday, Dec. 18, 6 p.m. (Spectrum SportsNet)
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