Turner Sports, entering its 35th consecutive year of NBA coverage, will feature a 66-game schedule during the 2018-19 NBA regular season including a marquee Opening Night doubleheader, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day tripleheader and the return of Players Only telecasts on eight Tuesdays beginning in January. The network will showcase the league’s biggest stars, including 13 appearances each by the Los Angeles Lakers with LeBron James and the Houston Rockets, last season’s No. 1 seed in the Western Conference led by NBA MVP James Harden; 12 appearances by both the defending NBA Champion Golden State Warriors and the Boston Celtics;11 by the Oklahoma City Thunder and Philadelphia 76ers; and eight by the Milwaukee Bucks. TNT will televise doubleheaders on 21 Thursdays and 10 Tuesdays throughout the regular season.
TNT will officially tip off the 2018-19 NBA regular season on Tuesday, Oct. 16, with a premier doubleheader featuring three former Kia NBA Most Valuable Player award winners -- the NBA Champion Warriors, with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant,hosting the explosive Thunder with Russell Westbrook at 10:30 p.m. ET. Preceding the Thunder/Warriors matchup, TNT will showcase two Eastern Conference powers -- the Celtics with Kyrie Irving and Jayson Tatum vs. the 76ers with Kia NBA Rookie of the Year Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid at 8 p.m.
TNT’s coverage of Autotrader Premiere Weekwill continue Thursday, Oct. 18, with a doubleheader featuring James’ highly-anticipated Lakers debut vs. the Portland Trail Blazers and Damian Lillard at 10:30 p.m. The night’s first game will feature the 76ers and Simmons hosting the Chicago Bulls and off-season acquisition Jabari Parker at 8 p.m.
Additionally, an NBA on TNT tripleheader on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday, Jan. 21) will showcase the defending NBA Champion Warriors visiting the Lakers and James at 10:30 p.m. MLK Day coverage will begin with the New OrleansPelicans and Anthony Davis vs. the MemphisGrizzlies and Mike Conley at 5:30 p.m., followed by the Rockets and Chris Paul vs. the 76ers and Embiid at 8 p.m.
TNT’s innovative Players Only franchise -- with former professional basketball players in all broadcast roles – will return for its third year starting Tuesday, Jan. 29, with all three of last season’s Kia NBA MVP finalists in action – the Rockets and Harden hosting the Pelicans and Davis at 8 p.m., followed by 76ers vs. Lakers and James at 10:30 p.m. TNT’s Players Only telecasts will regularly air on Tuesday nights from the series’ Jan. 29 debut through April 2.
Additional TNT regular season schedule highlights (full schedule listed below):
- Seven pairs of teams will play each other twice on TNT
- Celtics/76ers (Oct. 16 & Feb. 12)
- Celtics/Bucks (Nov. 1 & Feb. 21)
- Rockets/Thunder (Nov. 8 & Apr. 9)
- Warriors/Rockets in a Western Conference Finals rematch (Nov. 15 & Jan. 3)
- Rockets/Lakers (Dec. 13 & Feb. 21)
- Warriors/Lakers (Jan. 21 & Apr. 4)
- Lakers/Thunder (Jan. 17 & Apr. 2)
- The first TNT appearance for Kawhi Leonard with his new Toronto Raptors team – vs. Warriors – in the opening game of the Thursday,Nov. 29 doubleheader at 8 p.m. The Sacramento Kings and No. 2 overall draft selection Marvin Bagley III will host the LA Clippers at 10:30 p.m.
- A Western Conference doubleheader that will showcase the present and the future on Thursday,Dec. 13 – Rockets with Harden and Paul vs. Lakers with James and Brandon Ingram – at 8 p.m. ET, followed by a matchup of rookies selected in the top five of the NBA Draft – the Dallas Mavericks with international standout Luka Dončić vs. the Phoenix Suns and No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton – at 10:30 p.m.
- An inter-conference doubleheader on Thursday,Dec. 27, beginning with two of last season’s conference finalists – the Celtics and Irving vs. the Rockets and Harden – meeting at 8 p.m., followed by the 76ers and Rookie of the Year Simmons vs. the UtahJazz and Rookie of the Year finalist Donovan Mitchell at 10:30 p.m.
- A pair of All-Stars that were traded for each other will meet for the first time when the Raptors and Leonard visit the Spurs and DeMar DeRozan on Thursday, Jan. 3, at 8 p.m. A Western Conference Finals rematch – Warriors/Rockets – will follow at 10:30 p.m.
- An Opening Night rematch on Tuesday, Feb. 12 – Celtics vs. 76ers – at 8 p.m., followed by the Jazz and Mitchell visiting the Warriors and Curry at 10:30 p.m.
- Four consecutive appearances by the Lakers and James – vs. Raptors and Leonard on Thursday, Mar. 14, at 8 p.m.; vs. Washington Wizards and John Wall on Tuesday, Mar. 26, at 10:30 p.m.; vs. the Thunder and Westbrook on Tuesday, Apr. 2, at 8 p.m.; and vs. Warriors and Durant on Thursday, Apr. 4, at 10:30 p.m.
- Eastern Conference foes – Celtics vs. Wizards – will meet in the final week of regular season action on Tuesday, April 9, at 9 p.m., followed by the Rockets vs. Thunder at 9:30 p.m.
In addition to its regular-season coverage, TNT will be the exclusive home of NBA All-Star Weekend’s signature events including Mtn Dew Kickstart Rising Stars on Friday, Feb. 15, State Farm All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 16, and the NBA’s 68th annual All-Star Game from Charlotte, N.C. on Sunday, Feb. 17. The network will also televise more than 40 NBA Playoff games including first and second round action and the exclusive presentation of the 2019 NBA Eastern Conference Finals.
Live streaming coverage of all NBA on TNT games is available via http://www.tntdrama.com/watchtnt and the Watch TNT app and participating TV providers’ websites and apps. Fans will be able to access the games whenever and wherever they desire by logging in with the user name and password provided by their TV service provider.
About Turner Sports
Turner Sports, a division of Turner, is an industry leader in the delivery of premium sports content across all multimedia screens. Turner Sports’ television coverage includes the NBA, Major League Baseball, NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, ELEAGUE and professional golf, along with the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League beginning in Summer 2018. The company also manages some of the most popular sports destinations across digital and social platforms including Bleacher Report and its top-rated app, NCAA.com and the critically-acclaimed NCAA March Madness Live suite of products, PGA.com and the Sports Emmy Award-winning PGA Championship LIVE, as well as an accompanying collection of mobile sites and connected device apps. Turner Sports and the NBA jointly manage NBA Digital, a robust collection of offerings including NBA TV, NBA.com, NBA LEAGUE PASS, the NBA App and NBAGLEAGUE.com. Turner Sports recently launched B/R Live, a premium live streaming sports platform that serves as the central hub for both the discovery and consumption of live sports content. The new streaming service allows fans to find and watch their favorite sports content anywhere, anytime and on the screen of their choice.