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Finals rematch on Christmas highlights 2015-16 schedule

LaMarcus Aldridge returning to Portland and DeAndre Jordan in Big D among some of the more intriguing storylines

POSTED: Aug 12, 2015 6:53 PM ET

Official release


Stephen Curry and LeBron James are set to clash again when the Warriors and Cavs meet on Christmas Day.

— The NBA today released its complete game schedule and broadcast schedules for TNT, ESPN, ABC, NBA TV and NBA on ESPN Radio for the 2015-16 regular season, which features an opening night with the reigning champion Golden State Warriors receiving their championship rings before hosting the New Orleans Pelicans.

In this schedule, the stretches of four games in five nights and instances of back-to-back games have been reduced to all-time lows, with four-in-fives cut to an average of less than one per team.

Schedule Release Special: Opening Week

TNT's Rachel Nichols and Dennis Scott take a look at the games that will open the 2015-16 NBA season.

The NBA's 70th season begins on Tuesday, Oct. 27, as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off 2015, with a doubleheader on TNT, marking the 20th straight year the network has started with two games on the season's first night. In the first game, LeBron James and the reigning Eastern Conference champion Cleveland Cavaliers visit new NBA head coach Fred Hoiberg and the Chicago Bulls (8 p.m. ET). The second game follows league tradition of showcasing the defending champions at home on opening night, with 2014-15 Kia NBA Most Valuable Player Stephen Curry and the Warriors receiving their rings in a nationally televised ceremony before taking on Anthony Davis and the Pelicans (10:30 p.m. ET).

ESPN tips off its 14th consecutive year of NBA coverage with two doubleheaders during opening week. On Wednesday, Oct. 28, the first of two games features the San Antonio Spurs, with newcomer LaMarcus Aldridge, visiting Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder (8 p.m. ET). In the second game, the top two picks of NBA Draft 2015 presented by State Farm -- No. 1 Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves and No. 2 D'Angelo Russell of the Los Angeles Lakers -- make their NBA debuts and the Lakers' Kobe Bryant opens his 20th season when Minnesota visits Los Angeles (10:30 p.m. ET).

Opening week continues on TNT on Thursday, Oct. 29, with the Atlanta Hawks, who won a franchise-record 60 games in 2014-15, traveling to New York to face Carmelo Anthony and the Knicks (8 p.m. ET). In the second game, Dirk Nowitzki launches his 18th season with the Dallas Mavericks, who visit Chris Paul and the Los Angeles Clippers (10:30 p.m. ET).

NBA TV starts its 17th year of NBA coverage with five games during opening week, including two doubleheaders. The first doubleheader is Saturday, Oct. 31, when the Pelicans welcome the Warriors to New Orleans (7:30 p.m. ET) before DeMarcus Cousins and the Sacramento Kings meet the Clippers in Los Angeles (10:30 p.m. ET). The network's live game coverage continues on Sunday, Nov. 1, as the Milwaukee Bucks, who improved by 26 games in 2014-15, visit the Toronto Raptors, who won a franchise-record 49 games last season (6 p.m. ET). NBA TV completes its opening-week slate on Monday, Nov. 2, with a doubleheader that tips off with the Rockets hosting the Thunder (8 p.m. ET) and finishes with the Memphis Grizzlies traveling to Golden State for a rematch of a 2015 Western Conference Semifinals series (10:30 p.m. ET).

Schedule Release Special: Christmas Day

Check out the marquee match-ups scheduled for Christmas Day in the NBA.

Another feature of the schedule is a five-game showcase on Christmas Day, headlined by a 2015 Finals rematch between the Cavaliers and Warriors in Oakland, Calif., at 5 p.m. ET on ABC. That matchup follows games between the Pelicans and Heat in Miami (12 p.m. ET, ESPN) and the Bulls and Thunder in Oklahoma City (2:30 p.m. ET, ABC). Two more games on ESPN complete the quintet on Friday, Dec. 25, with the Spurs visiting the Rockets (8 p.m. ET) and the Clippers and Lakers meeting at Staples Center in a Lakers home game (10:30 p.m. ET).

Four nationally televised games highlight the NBA's Martin Luther King, Jr. Day schedule on Monday, Jan. 18, 2016, beginning with new Pelicans head coach Alvin Gentry leading New Orleans into Memphis to face the Grizzlies on ESPN (2:30 p.m. ET). Action continues on NBA TV at 5 p.m. ET, when the Hawks host new Orlando head coach Scott Skiles and the Magic. The day concludes with a doubleheader on TNT, as the Warriors visit the Cavaliers (8 p.m. ET), followed by the Rockets taking on the host Clippers (10:30 p.m. ET) in a rematch of last year's seven-game Western Conference Semifinals series won by Houston.

More highly anticipated television matchups throughout the regular season include:

• Aldridge returns to Portland on Wednesday, Nov. 11, when the Spurs play Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers in the second game of an ESPN doubleheader (10:30 p.m. ET). In the opener, the Mavericks host the Clippers (8 p.m. ET).

• NBA TV televises Cleveland's visit to Miami on Saturday, Dec. 5 (7:30 p.m. ET), as James faces his former team.

• Both regular-season meetings between the Bulls and Grizzlies are nationally televised, with ESPN airing the game on Wednesday, Dec. 16, in Chicago (8 p.m. ET) and TNT broadcasting the matchup on Tuesday, April 5, in Memphis (8 p.m. ET). Last season, Chicago's Pau Gasol and Memphis' Marc Gasol became the first brothers to start in the NBA All-Star Game.

• The Raptors play the Magic on Thursday, Jan. 14, at The O2 in London on NBA TV (3 p.m. ET) as part of NBA Global Games 2015-16.

• The ABC national television schedule consists of 16 exclusive regular-season broadcasts. In a change for this season, eight of those 16 games will take place on Saturday nights at 8:30 p.m. ET, with the first installment coming on Jan. 23, when Chicago visits Cleveland. The Cavaliers will also appear in prime time on ABC the following week when they host the Spurs on Jan. 30.

• The last two winners of the Kia NBA MVP Award -- Curry and Durant -- square off in three nationally televised games between the Warriors and Thunder: Saturday, Feb. 6, at Golden State (9 p.m. ET, ESPN); Saturday, Feb. 27, at Oklahoma City (8:30 p.m. ET, ABC); and Thursday, March 3, at Golden State (10:30 p.m. ET, TNT).

Schedule Release Special: DeAndre Jordan

DeAndre Jordan joins GameTime to talk about returning to the Clippers and the big early-season games with Dallas.

As part of the schedule, the league's total number of four games in five nights has been cut by more than 60 percent, dropping from 70 such instances in 2014-15 to 27 for 2015-16. In addition, the team average for back-to-back games has been trimmed from 19.3 last season to 17.8 this season.

TNT will televise 18 Thursday night doubleheaders during Turner Sports' 32nd year of NBA coverage. The network will also air NBA All-Star 2016 festivities in Toronto from Feb. 12-14, culminating with the NBA's 65th All-Star Game on Sunday, Feb. 14.

ESPN's schedule will be highlighted by 38 games on Wednesdays and 31 on Fridays. The network's telecasts will be available via WatchESPN, with nearly all on ESPN Mobile TV. ESPN Deportes (ESPN's Spanish-language U.S. sports network) will also televise a full slate of regular-season games.

The NBA on TNT, ESPN, ABC and NBA TV will present flexible scheduling throughout the regular season in order to provide the most compelling matchups to a national audience.

Schedule Release Special: Charles Barkley

TNT's Charles Barkley joins GameTime to discuss the opening week of the NBA's 2015-16 season.

The NBA on ESPN Radio will tip off its regular-season coverage with New Orleans' opening-night visit to Golden State on Oct. 27. ESPN Radio will also air events from NBA All-Star 2016.

For the 14th straight season, ABC will exclusively broadcast The Finals, which tips off in June 2016. This season, TNT is the exclusive home of the 2016 NBA Western Conference Finals and ESPN will exclusively televise the 2016 NBA Eastern Conference Finals.

Once again, NBA LEAGUE PASS will offer up to 40 live, out-of-market games each week through television, broadband and mobile for fans who want to watch their favorite teams, players and matchups from outside their local markets (blackout restrictions apply). Games included in NBA LEAGUE PASS are in addition to those available on TNT, ESPN, ABC and NBA TV as well as local networks (such as a regional sports network and/or over-the-air station). For more information about NBA LEAGUE PASS options, visit and the NBA app provide day-by-day and team-by-team schedules as well as regular-season telecast schedules of the league's domestic broadcast partners -- TNT, ESPN, ABC, NBA TV and NBA on ESPN Radio. Last season, NBA programming and games were seen in 215 countries and territories in 47 languages.