Kevin Durant to face former teammates at Chase Center in February

Schedule released Friday calls for Warriors to play Christmas and New Year’s Day games

By Steve Drumwright

Kevin Durant will return to the Bay Area on Feb. 13 when the Warriors host the Brooklyn Nets at the Chase Center.

The former Warriors star signed with the Nets as a free agent before the 2019-20 season, but did not play in Golden State’s sparkling new San Francisco home in its debut season after rupturing his right Achilles’ tendon during the 2019 NBA Finals and missing the entire year.

It was already known that the Warriors and superstar Steph Curry would open the season by facing Durant’s Nets in the Big Apple on Dec. 22. Curry missed all but five games of last season due to surgery to repair a broken bone in his left hand.

The NBA released the first half of its schedule Friday, which includes the Warriors playing on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. The NBA is playing a reduced 72-game schedule in 2020-21 in order to finish the NBA Finals just days before the Tokyo Olympics are scheduled to begin in late July.

The Warriors’ first 37 games were unveiled Friday. The NBA is holding off on releasing the second half of the schedule due to potential rescheduling caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. While there is an All-Star break, there is no All-Star Game this season.

In addition to the previously released matchup on Christmas against two-time reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, the Warriors will play their home opener on New Year’s Day against the Portland Trail Blazers. It is the eighth straight year and 10th time in 11 seasons the Warriors have played on Christmas, a marquee day for the NBA.

The home opener against the Blazers marks the first time since 1982 that the Warriors are hosting a New Year’s Day game. That year, the Warriors beat the Kansas City Kings 125-93.

After playing the first four games of the season on the road, the game against the Blazers marks the first of seven straight at the Chase Center.

The other highlight of the Warriors’ first 37 games is a Martin Luther King Jr. Day matchup with the defending champion Los Angeles Lakers on Jan. 20.

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