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Tune into the Top 20 (21) games to watch in 2015-16

POSTED: Aug 12, 2015 6:02 PM ET

By Fran Blinebury

BY Fran Blinebury

NBA.com

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Schedule Release Special: Games To Watch

TNT's Rachel Nichols and Dennis Scott take a look at some key games to look out for during the upcoming 2015-16 NBA season.

With the full NBA schedule released, we have scanned the slate for 20 (or 21) extra special games you won't want to miss:

1. L.A. Clippers at Mavericks, Nov. 11.

Jordan on Staying with the Clippers

DeAndre Jordan addresses the media on his free agency and why he stayed with the Clippers.

Booooooooo!!! Mark Cuban needs to bring in ring announcer Michael Buffer for this heavyweight battle of emotions. If DeAndre Jordan thinks he had trouble making up his mind between Dallas and L.A., wait till he tries playing with his ears bleeding. When Kiki Vandeweghe refused to join the Mavs back in 1980, Dallas fans booed him every time he touched the ball at old Reunion Arena. For 13 years!!! Booooooooo!!! Delicious.

2. Cavaliers at Warriors, Dec. 25

2a. Warriors at Cavaliers, Jan. 18

Warriors vs. Cavaliers Game 6

Stephen Curry scored 25 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished out eight assists to lead the Golden State Warriors over the Cleveland Cavaliers and to the NBA Championship, 105-97.

What a Christmas gift to get a rematch of the 2015 Finals at Oracle, hopefully with Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love back and both sides at full strength. Then they do it again 3 1/2 weeks later at The Q.

3. Spurs at Trail Blazers, Nov. 11

Aldridge Chooses Spurs

Yahoo Sports reports that LaMarcus Aldridge will sign with the San Antonio Spurs.

Remember when LaMarcus Aldridge told Portland fans to relax because he planned to stay and become the great Trail Blazer ever? Well, they do.

4. Warriors at Spurs, March 19

NBA 2015-16 Favorites: Warriors or Spurs?

After picking up LaMarcus Aldridge, are the Spurs the favorite or is that disrespectful to the Warriors?

According to the preseason odds makers, this is supposed to be a matchup between the top two teams in the Western Conference. The schedule gives them almost a full season to round into form before finally meeting for the first of three times down the stretch.

5. Cavaliers at Spurs, Jan. 14

Kyrie Irving's Big Night

Kyrie Irving explodes for a career-high 57 points (on 20 for 32 shooting), with seven triples and five assists to lead Cleveland over San Antonio in overtime.

The last time Kyrie Irving visited San Antonio he was a one-man version of Gen. Santa Ana's army, dropping 57 points on the Spurs in a 128-125 overtime win last March.

6. Thunder at Warriors, Feb. 6

Thunder vs. Warriors

Stephen Curry scores 34 points to top Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook's 63-point performance, as the Warriors improve to 22-3 winning 114-109.

You better believe Kevin Durant has this one circled on his personal calendar. After all those games sidelined with injuries last season, it's a shootout between he and Steph Curry, the last two MVPs. Bring extra batteries for the calculator.

7. Thunder at Spurs, April 12

Westbrook Scores 34

Russell Westbrook scores 34 points in the Thunder win over the Spurs on Christmas day.

They meet for the first time on Oct. 28, season opener for both teams. But this final clash could determine the No. 1 seed in the West. That is, if Pop isn't resting half his lineup.

8. Raptors at Hawks, Dec. 2

Toronto Raptors Free Agency Grade

Being the highest paid player on the Raps, is DeMarre Carroll overpaid?

The Hawks' surprising 60-win season at year ago was all about chemistry and teamwork. The only member of the starting lineup (DeMarre Carroll) that wasn't picked for the East All-Star team in 2015, comes back to Atlanta with his new Raptor flock to make a statement.

9. Thunder at Cavaliers, Dec. 17

LeBron and Durant Duel in Cleveland

Check out the highlights from LeBron James (34 points and seven rebounds) and Kevin Durant (32 points and nine assists) as they battle on Sunday in Cleveland.

LeBron vs. K.D. Need we say more?

10. Warriors at Rockets, Oct. 30

Warriors-Rockets Series Recap

Relive the exciting moments as the Warriors topped the Rockets in five games to earn a spot in the 2015 NBA Finals.

Steph Curry and James Harden pick up where they left off in their fierce duel for MVP honors a year ago. Can Harden put his 12-turnover Game 5 of West Finals elimination game behind him and turn the page?

11. Heat at Cavaliers, Oct. 30

Cavaliers vs. Heat

Dwyane Wade scores 31 points, Luol Deng finishes with 25 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, and the Heat beat the Cavaliers in LeBron James' first game back at his former home, 101-91.

A healthy Chris Bosh, a renewed Dwyane Wade, a re-signed Goran Dragic and a relentless Hassan Whiteside. Can a reconstructed Heat team prove a match for their old buddy LeBron?

12. Clippers at Spurs, Dec. 18

Spurs vs. Clippers, Game 7

Chris Paul scores 27, including the game-winner to lift the Clippers over the Spurs 111-109 in Game 7 of their first-round series.

The Clippers return to Texas and the site of their character-building Game 7 victory the first round of the playoffs that was supposed to launch them toward great things.

13. Clippers at Rockets, Dec. 19

Rockets Win Game 7

An all-access look as the Rockets beat the Clippers in Game 7 to advance to the Western Conference Finals.

Just 24 hours later, the Clippers return to the other Texas site where they completed an utterly helpless and embarrassing collapse from a 3-1 lead to lose in the Western Conference semifinals and further their underachieving image as the Clippers.

14. Spurs at Lakers, Feb. 19

Kobe Goes Strong

Kobe Bryant attacks the basket and hits the tough layup over the outstretched hand of Tim Duncan.

After all the playoffs series and all the memorable battles for nearly two decades, this could be the last time Kobe Bryant and Tim Duncan play against each other in an NBA game.

15. Mavericks at Nets, Dec. 23

Nightly Notable: Deron Williams

Deron Williams (35 points and seven assists) leads the Nets to victory over the Hawks in Game 4.

The disparaging sound is known as the "Bronx cheer." But you can count on Deron Williams hearing it in Brooklyn upon his return after three very forgettable seasons with the Nets.

16. Cavaliers at Lakers, March 10

Kobe and LeBron Feature

Kobe and LeBron are two of the biggest superstars in the NBA.

The torch has already been passed. But assuming Kobe's 37-year-old body holds out for the full season, you know he'll still be trying to prove something to LeBron in what could be their last meeting.

17. Lakers at Pacers, Feb. 8

Barkley on Hibbert to Lakers

Charles Barkley joins GameTime to discuss the Lakers adding center Roy Hibbert.

Not many players have fallen in stature so far and as fast as Roy Hibbert did over the past 12 months. The big man who was such a key part of those "almost" Pacers teams of recent years goes back to Indianapolis to show if he's been able to pick up the pieces and move on.

18. Timberwolves at Sixers, Jan. 4

Karl-Anthony Towns,Jahlil Okafor
Karl-Anthony Towns of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Jahlil Okafor of the Philadelphia 76ers, who pose for a picture after being selected during the 2015 NBA Draft, could be the next big man rivalry.

Don't laugh. It's the game of the future, an early glimpse at the Class of 2015 big man rivalry that could develop between No. 1 pick Karl-Anthony Towns and No. 3 Jahlil Okafor.

19. Pistons at Bucks, Nov. 23

Best of Greg Monroe with the Pistons

Take a look back at Greg Monroe's best highlights from his years on the Detroit Pistons.

The Pistons go into Milwaukee to see the Bucks team on the rise and Greg Monroe gets to show Stan Van Gundy just how big a mistake he made.

20. Celtics at Cavaliers, Dec. 15

Love's Injury

Kevin Love leaves the game after injuring his shoulder while battling for the rebound with Kelly Olynyk.

It's the first time Kevin Love and Kelly Olynyk are back on the court together after the "bush league play" that sidelined Love for the final three rounds of the playoffs and might have cost the Cavs a championship.

Fran Blinebury has covered the NBA since 1977. You can e-mail him here and follow him on Twitter.

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