The 2021-22 NBA schedule was officially released on Friday, and the Los Angeles Lakers will once again feature prominently on the national TV slate. LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook and Co. will appear on national television 42 times, including five ABC games and 13 each on TNT and ESPN.
The Lakers will also play on Christmas Day for the 23rd straight season when they host Kevin Durant, James Harden, Kyrie Irving and the Brooklyn Nets at Staples Center in one of the season’s marquee matchups. On Oct. 19, NBA opening night, the Lakers will play at home against the Golden State Warriors on TNT.
Below are some highlights of the schedule release, along with the full list of games.
Tuesday, Oct. 19 vs. Golden State Warriors, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)
The Warriors are expected to rejoin the chase for a title this season with a revamped roster and the potential return of Klay Thompson, and although Thompson might not suit up on opening night, this will still be one of the most anticipated matchups of the season. Stephen Curry and LeBron James have been key figures in so many of the league’s biggest games over the past decade, and this should be no different.
Friday, Oct. 22 vs. Phoenix Suns, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Not only did the Suns come within two wins of taking home the NBA title last season, but they also eliminated the Lakers in the first round of the playoffs. That should be a recipe for an incredible matchup on the first Friday of the regular season, with Banana Boat members LeBron James, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony all on the court together.
Wednesday, Nov. 17 at Milwaukee Bucks, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
If you want to be the best, you’ve got to beat the best. The Lakers will get their first crack at the defending champions a week before Thanksgiving, as they visit Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Bucks in Milwaukee. This should be one of the best matchups of the early season, especially given the history between Giannis and LeBron.
Tuesday, Nov. 23 at New York Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)
LeBron at MSG — need we say more? It helps that the Knicks have become a bona fide competitor in the Eastern Conference, which should make the game even more interesting.
Friday, Dec. 3 vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)
The game may lose some luster if Kawhi Leonard is unable to play, but the intra-city rivalry between the Lakers and Clippers will get its first 2021-22 installment in early December on ESPN. Even without Leonard, the Clippers figure to be one of the best teams in the Western Conference behind Paul George, which should lead to a fun night at Staples Center.
Saturday, Dec. 25 vs. Brooklyn Nets, 8 p.m. ET (ABC)
LeBron vs. Durant. Durant vs. Russ. Russ vs. Harden. LeBron vs. Kyrie. There are so many storylines in this Christmas Day matchup that it’s hard to even keep them straight. Not to mention that these are likely going to be the two NBA title favorites heading into the season. This figures to be one of the most exciting matchups of the year on the league’s biggest regular-season stage.
Monday, Jan. 17 vs. Utah Jazz, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBATV)
The NBA’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day showcase is one of its most important traditions, so it makes sense that the Lakers would take part in it. They’ll face the Jazz, who had the league’s best record last season behind Donovan Mitchell, Rudy Gobert and an unprecedented barrage of 3-pointers.
Sunday, Feb. 27 vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Any time Zion Williamson comes to town, it’s a good idea to mark your calendar. One of the league’s most exciting young players, Williamson and the Pelicans will head to Los Angeles to face the Lakers for the first time in late February. LeBron dropped 40 points against Zion back in 2020, and Davis famously requested a trade from the Pelicans before joining the Lakers, so this should be an exciting game.
Monday, March 21 at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7 p.m. ET
It’s always fun to watch the Cleveland fans react to LeBron’s return, and this will be the Lakers’ only road matchup with the Cavs all season. An Ohio native, James was booed mercilessly after returning to play against Cleveland as a member of the Miami Heat, but he has mostly been greeted with appreciation as a member of the Lakers after delivering Cleveland a title in 2016.
Hot start likely
The Lakers open with the Warriors, Suns and Grizzlies — all tough opponents — but then have six straight games against rebuilding teams in the Spurs, Thunder (twice), Cavs and Rockets (twice). If they’re able to win a couple of those first three games, the Lakers could conceivably be looking at an 8-1 start to the season.
The Lakers are always a favorite of national TV programming, but things get a little extreme in February when they’re on TNT, ABC or ESPN 10 times in an 11-game stretch, including seven straight games. It’s easy to see why, however, as those opponents include the Knicks, Bucks, Warriors and Clippers.
Rugged road trip
The Lakers’ favorable early schedule is offset by an absolutely brutal six-game road trip, its longest of the season, from Jan. 21-30. After starting off in Orlando, the Lakers face the Miami Heat, Brooklyn Nets, Philadelphia 76ers, Charlotte Hornets and Atlanta Hawks over the course of seven days.
This season, the Lakers will play 12 sets of back-to-backs, two of which don’t include travel. One set comes during the aforementioned six-game road trip, when they take on the 76ers and Hornets on consecutive nights.
Full 2021-22 Lakers Schedule
Tuesday, Oct. 19 vs. Golden State Warriors, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)Friday, Oct. 22 vs. Phoenix Suns, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)Sunday, Oct. 24 vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, Oct. 26 at San Antonio Spurs, 8:30 p.m. ETWednesday, Oct. 27 at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m. ETFriday, Oct. 29 vs. Cleveland Cavaliers, 10:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Oct. 31 vs. Houston Rockets, 10:30 p.m. ET
Tuesday, Nov. 2 vs. Houston Rockets, 10:30 p.m. ET Thursday, Nov. 4 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 10:30 p.m. ETSaturday, Nov. 6 at Portland Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBATV)Monday, Nov. 8 vs. Charlotte Hornets, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBATV)Wednesday, Nov. 10 vs. Miami Heat, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)Friday, Nov. 12 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 10:30 p.m. ET Sunday, Nov. 14 vs. San Antonio Spurs, 3:30 p.m. ETMonday, Nov. 15 vs. Chicago Bulls, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBATV)Wednesday, Nov. 17 at Milwaukee Bucks, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)Friday, Nov. 19 at Boston Celtics, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)Sunday, Nov. 21 at Detroit Pistons, 6 p.m. ETTuesday, Nov. 23 at New York Knicks, 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)Wednesday, Nov. 24 at Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m. ETFriday, Nov. 26 vs. Sacramento Kings, 10:30 p.m. ETSunday, Nov. 28 vs. Detroit Pistons, 9:30 p.m. ETTuesday, Nov. 30 at Sacramento Kings, 10 p.m. ET
Friday, Dec. 3 vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)Tuesday, Dec. 7 vs. Boston Celtics, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)Thursday, Dec. 9 at Memphis Grizzlies, 8 p.m. ETFriday, Dec. 10 at Oklahoma City Thunder, 8 p.m. ETSunday, Dec. 12 vs. Orlando Magic, 9:30 p.m. ETWednesday, Dec. 15 at Dallas Mavericks, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)Friday, Dec. 17 at Minnesota Timberwolves, 8 p.m. ETSunday, Dec. 19 at Chicago Bulls, 3:30 p.m. ETTuesday, Dec. 21 vs. Phoenix Suns, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)Thursday, Dec. 23 vs. San Antonio Spurs, 10:30 p.m. ETSaturday, Dec. 25 vs. Brooklyn Nets, 8 p.m. ET (ABC)Tuesday, Dec. 28 at Houston Rockets, 8 p.m. ETWednesday, Dec. 29 at Memphis Grizzlies, 8 p.m. ET (NBATV)Friday, Dec. 31 vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBATV)
Sunday, Jan. 2 vs. Minnesota Timberwolves, 9:30 p.m. ETTuesday, Jan. 4 vs. Sacramento Kings, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBATV)Friday, Jan. 7 vs. Atlanta Hawks, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)Sunday, Jan. 9 vs. Memphis Grizzlies, 9:30 p.m. ETWednesday, Jan. 12 at Sacramento Kings, 10 p.m. ETSaturday, Jan. 15 at Denver Nuggets, 9 p.m. ET (NBATV)Monday, Jan. 17 vs. Utah Jazz, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBATV)Wednesday, Jan. 19 vs. Indiana Pacers, 10:30 p.m. ETFriday, Jan. 21 at Orlando Magic, 7 p.m. ETSunday, Jan. 23 at Miami Heat, 6 p.m. ET (NBATV)Tuesday, Jan. 25 at Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)Thursday, Jan. 27 at Philadelphia 76ers, 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)Friday, Jan. 28 at Charlotte Hornets, 7 p.m. ETSunday, Jan. 30 at Atlanta Hawks, 1 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Feb. 2 vs. Portland Trail Blazers, 10:30 p.m. ETThursday, Feb. 3 at Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)Saturday, Feb. 5 vs. New York Knicks, 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)Tuesday, Feb. 8 vs. Milwaukee Bucks, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)Wednesday, Feb. 9 at Portland Trail Blazers, 10 p.m. ETSaturday, Feb. 12 at Golden State Warriors, 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)Wednesday, Feb. 16 vs. Utah Jazz, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)Friday, Feb. 25 vs. Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)Sunday, Feb. 27 vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)
Tuesday, March 1 vs. Dallas Mavericks, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)Thursday, March 3 at Los Angeles Clippers, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)Saturday, March 5 vs. Golden State Warriors, 8:30 p.m. ET (ABC)Monday, March 7 at San Antonio Spurs, 8:30 p.m. ETWednesday, March 9 at Houston Rockets, 8 p.m. ETFriday, March 11 vs. Washington Wizards, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBATV)Sunday, March 13 at Phoenix Suns, 8 p.m. ET (ESPN)Monday, March 14 vs. Toronto Raptors, 10:30 p.m. ETWednesday, March 16 at Minnesota Timberwolves, 8 p.m. ETFriday, March 18 at Toronto Raptors, 7:30 p.m. ETSaturday, March 19 at Washington Wizards, 8 p.m. ETMonday, March 21 at Cleveland Cavaliers, 7 p.m. ETWednesday, March 23 vs. Philadelphia 76ers, 10 p.m. ET (ESPN)Sunday, March 27 at New Orleans Pelicans, 7 p.m. ETTuesday, March 29 at Dallas Mavericks, 7:30 p.m. ET (TNT)Thursday, March 31 at Utah Jazz, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)
Friday, April 1 vs. New Orleans Pelicans, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBATV)Sunday, April 3 vs. Denver Nuggets, 3:30 p.m. ET (ABC)Tuesday, April 5 at Phoenix Suns, 10:30 p.m. ET (NBATVThursday, April 7 at Golden State Warriors, 10 p.m. ET (TNT)Friday, April 8 vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 10:30 p.m. ETSunday, April 10 at Denver Nuggets, TBD
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