NBA releases first half of 2020-21 schedule; Raptors tip off vs. Pelicans

Toronto Raptors guard Fred VanVleet (23) shoots next to New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball (2) during the first half of an NBA basketball game. (Matthew Hinton/AP)

The NBA released the first half of its schedule for the 2020-21 season on Friday, which will be split up by an all-star break that takes place March 5-10.

The new campaign gets underway on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

The Toronto Raptors will tip off their season against the New Orleans Pelicans in Tampa on Dec. 23.

Toronto will have four of its games nationally televised in the U.S. (Feb. 5 at Brooklyn, ESPN; Feb. 18 at Milwaukee, TNT; Feb. 24 at Miami, ESPN; March 4 at Boston, TNT) and three of them on NBA TV (Jan. 2 at New Orleans, Jan. 16 vs. Charlotte, Jan. 24 at Indiana). They will also play three back-to-backs in the crunched schedule and will have a particularly arduous three-game stretch against the Philadelphia 76ers (twice) and the Eastern Conference champion Miami Heat in late February.

Below is the Raptors' first-half schedule in its entirety:

Opening night of the season will feature the Golden State Warriors against the Brooklyn Nets, and the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers against the Los Angeles Clippers.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 18), a key date on the league calendar every season, will contain a 10-game slate and feature the Phoenix Suns against the Memphis Grizzlies, the Milwaukee Bucks against the Nets and the Lakers against the Warriors.

Under this season's 72-game format, each team will play three games against each opponent in its conference (42 total games per team), with each pairing featuring either two home games and one road game or one home game and two road games.

As for the other conference, each team will play two games against each opponent (30 total games per team), with each pairing featuring one home game and one road game.

The second-half schedule of the overall 72-game campaign will be released at a later date, and will include not only the remainder of each team’s contests, but any games that are postponed during the first half that can reasonably be added in.

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