The NBA’s Christmas Day schedule has traditionally been the league’s holiday gift for the fans, filled with numerous mouth-watering clashes between top teams.
The Los Angeles Lakers usually occupy one of the prime TV slots for the night and nothing else was expected this year considering they are the defending champions. However, many wondered who the Lakers would face on Christmas Day and only a few days after the season’s tipoff.
The L.A. Clippers seemed like a safe bet considering the “Battle of Los Angeles” narrative and that the two teams eventually did not square off in the Orlando bubble.
But according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Lakers will instead host Luka Doncic and his Dallas Mavericks at 5 p.m. PT:
ESPN Sources: Tentative Christmas Day Schedule pic.twitter.com/MId025HKvB
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 2, 2020
The schedule is only tentative as a possible coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak could result in games being postponed.
But if they proceed as scheduled, NBA fans are up for a treat. Before LeBron James and Doncic put on a show at Staples Center, the Golden State Warriors will visit the Milwaukee Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo, who has long been linked with a move to the Bay Area ahead of his potential free agency.
And Kyrie Irving will return to Boston to face the young Celtics together with his Brooklyn Nets, boosted by Kevin Durant’s return from an Achilles injury that ruled him out for the entire last season.
Lakers to play Clippers, Suns in preseason
The Lakers will likely have faced the Clippers twice, at least, by the time the Christmas Day games begin. The defending champions are set to play two exhibition games with their local rivals during the 2020-21 preseason.
The first showdown with the Clippers is scheduled for a 7 p.m. PT tip-off on Friday, Dec. 11. They will then travel to Arizona for their two remaining preseason meetings with the Phoenix Suns.
The Lakers and Clippers reportedly will also meet on Opening Night of the 2020-21 season.
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