By Harold Ardsley
The Sixers schedule for the first half of the 2020-21 regular season has been released, including a season-opening matchup at home against Washington on Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 7 p.m. ET.
They’ll play nine times on either ESPN or TNT, including a Jan. 7 road game against Atlantic Division-rival Brooklyn at 7:30 on TNT. Additionally, the 76ers will play five times on NBA TV.
The Sixers open their road schedule at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, Dec. 26 at 7:30 p.m. against the Knicks in a game that will be televised on NBA TV. The team concludes a road back-to-back at Cleveland the following night at 7:30 p.m. ET. Included in Philadelphia’s First-Half schedule is a four-game Western Conference road trip, spanning Feb. 9-15, making stops in Sacramento, Portland, Phoenix and Utah. The matchup with Portland and All-Star Damian Lillard is set for Thursday, Feb. 11 at 10 p.m. ET and will be nationally televised on TNT, while the 76ers’ meeting with All-Stars Chris Paul, Devin Booker and the new-look Suns will be played on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 5 p.m. ET on NBA TV.
Other notable highlights include:
Philly faces off with Atlantic Division-rival Toronto three times in the First Half, starting with a Tuesday, Dec. 29 matchup at The Center, set for 7 p.m. ET. The 76ers will travel to Tampa to take on the Raptors and All-Stars Kyle Lowry and Pascal Siakam in consecutive road games on Sunday, Feb. 21 (6 p.m. ET) and Tuesday, Feb. 23 (7:30 p.m. ET). Toronto will play all of its First Half home games at Amalie Arena in Tampa.
The Denver Nuggets, led by stars Nikola Jokić and Jamal Murray, will make their lone visit to The Center this season on Saturday, Jan. 9 at 3 p.m. on NBA TV. Denver is coming off an appearance in the 2020 Western Conference Finals, their deepest run since 2008-09.
The 76ers’ next game is set for Monday, Jan. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at Atlanta against All-Star Trae Young and several new Hawks, including Bogdan Bogdanović, Kris Dunn, Danilo Gallinari and Rajon Rondo.
The defending Eastern Conference-champion Miami Heat will come to town for consecutive games on Tuesday, Jan. 12 (7 p.m. ET) and Thursday, Jan. 14 (7:30 p.m. ET), the latter of which will be nationally televised on TNT. Last season, Miami returned to the NBA Finals for the first time since 2013-14.
Philadelphia will make its lone visit to Memphis on Saturday, Jan. 16 at 8 p.m. ET to take on the Grizzlies and reigning Rookie of the Year Ja Morant.
The longtime rival Boston Celtics and All-Star Jayson Tatum will visit The Center for two straight games on Wednesday, Jan. 20 (7 p.m. ET) and Friday, Jan. 22 (7:30 p.m. ET). Both matchups will be nationally televised on ESPN.
On Wednesday, Jan. 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET, the 76ers will welcome All-Stars LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers to Philadelphia for the only time this season. The game will be nationally televised on ESPN.
Following a four-game February Western Conference road trip, Philadelphia will return home to host the Houston Rockets on Wednesday, Feb. 17 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN. Houston’s James Harden has led the NBA in scoring in each of the past three seasons.
Philadelphia will host two more nationally televised games in February, first hosting the Chicago Bulls on Friday, Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. on ESPN before All-Star Luka Dončić and the Dallas Mavericks come to town on Thursday, Feb. 25 at 7 p.m. ET on TNT.
The 76ers will have 14 weekend games during the season’s First Half (three Fridays, eight Saturdays, four Sundays).