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NBA unveils game and national television schedules for second half of 2020-21 season

February 25, 2021, 6:15 AM ● Official release

NBA announces second half of regular-season schedule, which begins on March 11 and concludes May 17.

NEW YORK, Feb. 24, 2021 – The NBA today released its game schedule and broadcast schedules for TNT, ESPN, ABC, NBA TV and ESPN Radio for the Second Half of the 2020-21 regular season, which will begin Thursday, March 11 and conclude Monday, May 17 (PHT).

The Second Half of the regular season will be followed by the 2021 NBA Play-In Tournament (May 19-22) and the 2021 NBA Playoffs, which will tip off Sunday, May 23.  The Play-In Tournament will determine the teams that will fill the seventh and eighth playoff seeds in each conference.  The teams with the seventh-highest through the tenth-highest winning percentages in each conference will qualify for the Play-In Tournament.

The game schedules across TNT and ESPN for the final week of the regular season (May 11-17) will be determined at a later date in order to provide the most compelling matchups to a national audience leading into the NBA Play-In Tournament and the NBA Playoffs.  In the final week of the regular season, TNT will present doubleheaders Wednesday, May 12 and Friday, May 14, and ESPN will televise doubleheaders Thursday, May 13 and Saturday, May 15.  ESPN will also air a game Monday, May 17 on the final day of the regular season.

TNT will tip off its coverage of the Second Half of the season Friday, March 12 with a doubleheader as the Brooklyn Nets host the Boston Celtics (8:30 AM) and the Golden State Warriors visit the LA Clippers (11 AM).  ESPN will begin its Second Half coverage Monday, March 15 when the New Orleans Pelicans host the Clippers (10 AM).  On Tuesday, March 16, ESPN’s first doubleheader in the Second Half will feature the New York Knicks visiting the Nets (9 AM) and the Lakers taking on the Warriors in San Francisco (11:30 AM).

ABC Sunday Showcase and NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC will both continue in the Second Half of the season.  In ABC’s first two telecasts of the Second Half, the Lakers will face the Clippers in Sunday Showcase on April 5 (4:30 AM) and then visit the Nets in NBA Saturday Primetime on April 11 (9:30 AM).

On Thursday, March 11, the first day of game action in the Second Half of the season, NBA TV will present the San Antonio Spurs visiting the Dallas Mavericks (9:30 AM).  NBA TV’s coverage will continue Saturday, March 13 with a doubleheader as the Memphis Grizzlies host the Denver Nuggets (9 AM) and the Indiana Pacers meet the Lakers in Los Angeles (11:30 AM).

ESPN Radio will air its first game in the Second Half on Monday, March 15 when the Pelicans host the Clippers at 10 AM.

Other schedule highlights for the Second Half of the 2020-21 season:

• TNT’s doubleheader Friday, April 9 will open with a rematch of NBA Finals 2020 presented by YouTube TV as the Miami Heat hosts the Lakers (8:30 AM), followed by the Phoenix Suns visiting the Clippers (11 AM).

• The Utah Jazz, which has a league-leading 25-6 record, will visit the defending NBA champion Lakers twice in a three-day span on ESPN: Sunday, April 18 (4:30 AM) and Tuesday, April 20 (11 AM).  Utah will also host Brooklyn on Thursday, March 25 on ESPN (11 AM).

• The Philadelphia 76ers, who lead the Eastern Conference at 21-11, will meet the Bucks three times in the Second Half of the season: Thursday, March 18 on ESPN (8 AM); Friday, April 23 on TNT (8 AM); and Sunday, April 25 on ESPN (4:30 AM).

• ABC’s regular-season game coverage will conclude Monday, May 3 with a Showcase matchup between the Nets and Bucks in Milwaukee (4:30 AM).

• NBA TV will tip off the final week of the regular season with a doubleheader Tuesday, May 11: Washington Wizards at Atlanta Hawks (8:30 AM) and Jazz at Warriors (11 AM).

• The Second Half will reach fans in 215 countries and territories in more than 50 languages.

The Play-In Tournament will begin Wednesday, May 19 and conclude Saturday, May 22.  The teams with the seventh-highest and eighth-highest winning percentages in each conference will each have two opportunities to win one game to earn a playoff spot.  The teams with the ninth-highest and tenth-highest winning percentages in each conference will each have to win two consecutive games to earn a playoff spot.

At the conclusion of the regular season, the team with the seventh-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the eighth-highest winning percentage in its conference in a Play-In Game (the “Seven-Eight Game”).  The winner of the Seven-Eight Game in each conference will be the seventh seed in the playoffs for its conference.

The team with the ninth-highest winning percentage in each conference will host the team with the tenth-highest winning percentage in its conference in a Play-In Game (the “Nine-Ten Game”).  The loser of the Seven-Eight Game will host the winner of the Nine-Ten Game in a Play-In Game, and the winner of that game will be the eighth seed in the playoffs for its conference.