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Warriors-Lakers, Celtics-76ers start 2022-2023 NBA season

NEW YORK (AFP) — Defending champion Golden State will host the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston will entertain Philadelphia when the 2022-2023 National Basketball Association season opens on 18 October in a league schedule announced Wednesday.

Each team will play 82 regular-season games through 9 April with a play-in tournament ahead of the 15 April start of the playoffs and the NBA Finals commencing on 1 June.

The schedule sees the resumption of international regular-season contests with the Miami Heat playing the San Antonio Spurs on 17 December in Mexico City and the Chicago Bulls meeting the Detroit Pistons in Paris on 19 January.

There will be five games played on Christmas Day for the 15th consecutive year, tipping off with Philadelphia at New York and followed by the Lakers at Dallas, Milwaukee at Boston and Memphis making a 25 December debut at Golden State before the holiday slate concludes with Phoenix at Denver.

In a move to encourage fans to vote, no NBA games will be played on US Election Day, 8 November, while all 30 teams will play on 7 November as well as 9 April to end the campaign.

On opening night, the 76ers will visit the reigning Eastern Conference champions before the NBA champion Warriors receive their championship rings before hosting superstar LeBron James and the Lakers.

On 19 October, New York will visit Memphis and Dallas go to Phoenix in a rematch of a Western Conference semifinal series from last season.

The next night, Milwaukee travels to Philadelphia while the Los Angeles rivals the Lakers and Clippers meet.

21 October will feature Boston at Miami and Denver at Golden State.

There will be two rematches of last season’s NBA Finals when the Warriors play host to Boston on 10 December and visit the Celtics on 19 January.

The week of 23 January will be NBA Rivals Week, a series of games featuring various league rivalries.

A trio of 28 January contests include the Lakers at Boston, New York at Brooklyn and reigning NBA Most Valuable Player Nikola Jokic leading Denver against Philadelphia and MVP runner-up and 2021-2022 scoring leader Joel Embiid.

The estimated average miles traveled for NBA clubs in the 2022-2023 regular season has been reduced to 41,000 miles per team, a record low in the era with 30 teams and 82 games each.

It’s a cut of nearly 2,000 miles per team from last season’s all-time low of 43,000 miles traveled per club.

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