The full schedule for the 2023-24 NBA regular season was released on Thursday afternoon. Or, almost the full schedule. Due to the in-season tournament, only 80 of 82 games have been set for each team. The remaining two games will be determined by how they fare in the new event and will be announced in December. Everything else, though, is locked in. We have the schedule for opening night, Christmas Day and the in-season tournament, as well as key dates throughout the season.
Regular-season action will begin on Oct. 24 and conclude on April 14, with the All-Star break set for Feb. 16-18. As for the in-season tournament, it will run from Nov. 3-Dec. 9.
More early notes on the schedule:
- Opening night is set for Oct. 24 and will feature the defending champion Denver Nuggets against the Los Angeles Lakers, and the Phoenix Suns versus the Golden State Warriors. No Eastern Conference teams will be in action.
- No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama will make his NBA debut on Oct. 25 when the San Antonio Spurs host the Dallas Mavericks.
- LeBron James and Kevin Durant will play against each other for the first time since 2018 on Oct. 26 when Phoenix visits Los Angeles (That 2018 game was a Christmas Day matchup between the Lakers and Warriors. James injured his groin in the third quarter.) On the same night, Joel Embiid and the Sixers will visit Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks.
- Miami will visit Boston in a rematch of the last two Eastern Conference finals on Oct. 27.
- The first matchup between the Los Angeles Clippers and Lakers will take place on Nov. 1.
- The Heat will visit the Nuggets in a rematch of the 2023 NBA Finals on Feb. 29.
- The champs will get their rings before a rematch of the 2023 Western Conference finals, in which Denver swept the Lakers and left James and Anthony Davis agreeing that the Nuggets were probably the best team they had played against in their four years together.
- As well as being Chris Paul's first meeting with Phoenix since it traded him to Golden State, the Suns-Warriors game will be Durant's first at Chase Center with fans in attendance. The arena opened after Durant left Golden State, and he has been injured for all of his visits since, except for a game on Feb. 13, 2021, in which no tickets were sold because of pandemic restrictions.
- This will be the first time since 2008 that the Lakers and Celtics face off on Christmas. This will also be the Warriors' 11th consecutive year playing on Christmas and James' 17th consecutive year playing on Christmas. Last year, James became the first player in NBA history to appear in 17 total Christmas games.
Here's the full Christmas Day slate:
- Milwaukee at New York, 12 p.m. ET
- Golden State at Denver, 2:30 p.m. ET
- Boston at Los Angeles, 5 p.m. ET
- Philadelphia at Miami, 8 p.m. ET
- Dallas at Phoenix, 10:30 p.m. ET
- The will begin on Nov. 3 with the first of seven tournament nights. The group stage will continue on Nov. 10, Nov. 14, Nov. 17, Nov. 21, Nov. 24, and Nov. 28 (i.e. every Tuesday and Friday that month, with the exception of Nov. 7, which is Election Day.)
- includes Mavs-Nuggets, Lakers-Suns, Heat-Knicks, Bucks-Heat, Warriors-Kings and more.
- Six group winners and two wild cards will advance to the knockout stage -- the quarterfinals will be played on Dec. 4 and Dec. 5, with the higher seed having home-court advantage, and the four winners will advance to Las Vegas, where the semifinals will be played on Dec. 7 and the championship game will be played on Dec. 9.
Schedule release coverage
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