Kevin Durant and the Brooklyn Nets will visit the Golden State Warriors, the team he led to two titles, on February 13 as part of the NBA first-half schedule released Friday.
The league announced its first days of season-opening showdowns December 22-25 on Wednesday, then followed up with the early portion of a lineup of 37 or 38 games per club through March 4, 2021.
The NBA will announce the remainder of the schedule of 72 games per club (March 11-May 16) during the latter part of the first half, allowing for potential Covid-19 postponements as it attempts to play in home arenas, mostly without spectators at the start, rather than the bubble used to complete last season.
Among the notable contests from the two months of the campaign revealed Friday will be Durant’s return to the Bay Area, having signed with the Nets as a free agent last year following a torn Achilles tendon suffered in the NBA Finals.
Durant was the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player for the Warriors in 2017 and 2018 when they beat the LeBron James-led Cleveland Cavaliers in the championship series.
The Nets will host the Warriors on December 22 in the first game of the 2020-21 campaign.
Washington’s Russell Westbrook will face his former Houston Rockets teammates in Texas on January 26 while Houston visits the US capital on February 15.
The powerhouse Milwaukee Bucks, featuring Giannis Antetokounmpo, will visit Brooklyn on January 18, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday that also sees Phoenix at Memphis and the Warriors at the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, Orlando at New York and Minnesota at Atlanta.
Teams will face each conference rival three times and each foe from the opposite conference twice during the season. Teams will play between 17 and 20 home games in the first half of the season, with 558 of 1,080 games announced Friday.
The NBA used a “series” model to reduce travel and related Covid-19 issues, so clubs which play a foe twice in the same city likely do so consecutively.
The Lakers will visit Boston on January 30 and entertain Miami in a rematch of last season’s NBA Finals on February 20.
Other notable games find Boston at New Orleans on February 21, the Los Angeles Clippers at Milwaukee on February 28.
The NBA playoffs will be staged from May 22 through July 22 next year.