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NBA leverages Lakers-Clippers rivalry with Opening Day, Christmas Day showdowns

The NBA is looking to leverage the new – and much-hyped – in-town rivalry between the Los Angeles Lakers and Los Angeles Clippers by reportedly scheduling games between the city rivals on Opening Day of the new season as well as on Christmas Day.

The teams, which both play at the Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles, are expected to both dominate the Western Conference next season after the Lakers teamed up Anthony Davis with LeBron James and the Clippers brought in Kawhi Leonard and Paul George in the off-season.

The first “Battle of L.A.’ is scheduled to be on Tuesday, October 22, and will be a home game for the Clippers, according to reports.

Elsewhere on Opening Day, last season’s league champions, the Toronto Raptors, are set to play the New Orleans Pelicans and their No. 1 overall draft pick, Zion Williamson. The league’s Christmas Day slate will also include a much-hyped matchup between Eastern Conference contenders Milwaukee and Philadelphia.