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Report: LeBron, KD to match up for 1st time since 2018 in Lakers' home opener

Andrew D. Bernstein / National Basketball Association / Getty

A marquee matchup between LeBron James and Kevin Durant for the first time since 2018 highlights a trio of notable games as the 2023-24 NBA schedule continues to be revealed, sources told The Athletic's Shams Charania.

James' Los Angeles Lakers and Durant's Phoenix Suns are slated to square off on Oct. 26 in Los Angeles' home opener.

Due to a myriad of injuries, roster moves, and a pandemic getting in the way, the two eventual Hall of Fame wings have avoided each other for nearly five years.

The last time the duo matched up was Christmas Day in 2018, when James led the Lakers, in his second full month with the organization, to a 127-101 blowout win against Durant's Golden State Warriors. James put up just 17 points but added 13 rebounds and five assists. Meanwhile, Durant scored 21 points to go along with seven rebounds and seven assists.

Prior to that regular-season tilt, the pair matched up in the 2018 NBA Finals, where the Warriors swept James' Cleveland Cavaliers, led by a dagger Durant 3-ball to sink Cleveland in Game 3.

In the present day, the matchup between the Lakers and Suns represents two of the more star-studded cores in the NBA, with James and Anthony Davis playing the new Big Three of Durant, Devin Booker, and Bradley Beal.

Charania also highlighted two other key matchups slated for next season, with the Miami Heat and Boston Celtics playing on Oct. 27, months after a historic Eastern Conference finals, and the Heat taking on the Denver Nuggets on Feb. 29 in a Finals rematch.

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