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ABC Sports announces 2002-2003 NBA schedule

The NBA returns to ABC Sports for the first time since the 1972-73 season with an outstanding schedule featuring the three-time defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers and their dynamic duo of Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant. ABC Sports will begin its 2002-03 schedule with an exciting Christmas evening doubleheader featuring rematches of the two conference final series' from last season -- Boston Celtics vs. New Jersey Nets (Wednesday, December 25, 6 p.m. ET), followed by Sacramento Kings vs. Los Angeles Lakers (Wednesday, December 25, 8:30 p.m. ET). The doubleheader, as with all NBA dates on ABC, will be preceded by a 30-minute pre-game show.

The schedule of 14 games includes four appearances each by the world champion Los Angeles Lakers, the Western Conference runner-up Sacramento Kings, the 2001 Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia 76ers and the high-flying Dallas Mavericks. Additionally there will be three games featuring Michael Jordan's Washington Wizards and two each for the Eastern Conference champion New Jersey Nets, Eastern Conference runner-up Boston Celtics and the San Antonio Spurs.

"This schedule of NBA games will showcase some of the most popular and talented athletes in the world as they vie for the NBA finals," said Howard Katz, president, ABC Sports. "Adding the NBA along with the NBA finals is a great example of why ABC Sports is 'Championship Television'."

2002-2003 ABC SPORTS NBA SCHEDULE
Date Time Matchup
December 25 6 p.m. Boston Celtics at New Jersey Nets
  8:30 p.m. Sacramento Kings at Los Angeles Lakers
January 4 1:30 p.m. Philadelphia 76ers at Dallas Mavericks
February 16 1 p.m. Philadelphia 76ers at New Jersey Nets
  3:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Sacramento Kings
February 23 12:30 p.m. Dallas Mavericks at Washington Wizards
March 9 1 p.m. Washington Wizards at New York Knicks
  3:30 p.m. Philadelphia 76ers at Los Angeles Lakers
March 16 3:30 p.m. Dallas Mavericks at Sacramento Kings
March 23 1 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers at San Antonio Spurs
March 30 1 p.m. Dallas Mavericks at Minnesota Timberwolves
April 6 1 p.m. Washington Wizards at Boston Celtics
  3:30 p.m. Sacramento Kings at Philadelphia 76ers
April 13 3:30 p.m. Los Angeles Lakers at Portland Trail Blazers

All Times Eastern

ABC SPORTS, ESPN AND THE NBA
Under terms of the new agreement with ABC and ESPN that begins with the 2002-03 season, ABC will be the exclusive over-the-air network for NBA basketball, televising up to 15 regular-season broadcasts. ABC will also carry playoff games, including the NBA finals in primetime, beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET. In addition ABC will televise "NBA Inside Stuff," the league's Saturday morning youth magazine show. ESPN will televise 75 regular-season games, with one game Wednesday nights and a doubleheader on Friday nights. ESPN will also exclusively televise one Conference finals series and an expected 22 games in the first two rounds of the playoffs, as well as the NBA Draft, a Draft preview show and NBA Draft Lottery. The agreement includes extensions of pre-existing deals between ESPN and the NBA covering ESPN Radio, ESPN Classic, ESPN.com and the NBDL

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