Kyle Kuzma holds the ball against the Golden State Warriors on Dec. 18, 2017.
(Harry How/Getty Images)

2018-19 Lakers Schedule: 5 Must-See Matchups

by Joey Ramirez
Digital Reporter

The 2018-19 Lakers schedule is out, and there is a seemingly nonstop slate of big-time matchups for LeBron James and co.

From new Western Conference rivals to foes from the East, here are the top five matchups that should be circled on every calendar.

October 18 at Portland (7:30 p.m. PT; TNT)
The Lakers’ season tips off on the road for the first time in 13 years, as the LeBron James era begins in Oregon. The Blazers swept L.A. last season, but only won each game by five points or fewer. James will certainly change the equation, as Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum will try to ruin his Lake Show debut.

October 20 vs. Houston (7:30 p.m. PT; Spectrum SportsNet and ESPN)
The entire city of Los Angeles will be electrifying when LeBron suits up in purple and gold in front of the home fans for the first time. Reigning MVP James Harden and Chris Paul will suit up on the other side, while Kyle Kuzma looks to bring some of the heat from when he dropped 38 points on the Rockets last year.

November 21 at Cleveland (5 p.m. PT; Spectrum SportsNet and ESPN)
Last time LeBron returned to Cleveland after changing teams, he was greeted by choruses of boos and fans burning his jersey. This time promises to be much different, as the Akron native left Northeast Ohio as a hero thanks to four straight NBA Finals appearances, including the 2016 title.

December 25 at Golden State (5 p.m. PT; ABC and ESPN)
Each of those trips to the Finals saw LeBron face the Warriors, who are in the midst of creating a dynasty. So it’s no surprise that James will partake in his fourth straight Christmas Day matchup against Golden State, as the Lakers will spend the holiday up in Oakland.

March 9 vs. Boston (5:30 p.m. PT; ABC)
There is no rivalry more historic than Lakers-Celtics, and this chapter just became so much more interesting thanks to the arrival of James. Not only will it be a battle between iconic franchises; it will also pit James against his fellow star from the Cavs’ 2016 championship team, Kyrie Irving.

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