NBA: Cavaliers and Warriors in finals rematch on Christmas day

Golden State Warriors Festus Ezeli (centre) battles for the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals on June 16, 2015 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Golden State Warriors Festus Ezeli (centre) battles for the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers during Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals on June 16, 2015 at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers will visit the defending champion Golden State Warriors in a Christmas Day rematch of last season's National Basketball Association final, the league announced on Wednesday.

The NBA unveiled the 2015-16 schedule and the Christmas Day contest between James' Cavs and Stephen Curry's Warriors is just one of five holiday contests planned.

The Christmas showcase starts with the New Orleans Pelicans visiting the Miami Heat followed by the Cavaliers playing in Golden State and then the Chicago Bulls at the Oklahoma City Thunder.

The final two tilts are the San Antonio Spurs at the Houston Rockets and the Los Angeles Clippers meeting Kobe Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers.

The season begins October 27 with Golden State receiving their championship rings before facing the Pelicans. Cleveland visits Chicago who will be guided by Fred Hoiberg in his

NBA coaching debut.

Also on opening weekend will be Kevin Durant, who missed most of last season with injuries, and the Thunder playing host to the Spurs, Bryant returning to the Lakers for a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves and first overall entry draft pick Karl-Anthony Towns, and DeAndre Jordan and the Clippers battling the Dallas Mavericks.

Other noteworthy matchups include the Clippers and Jordan visiting Dallas on November 11 to face the Mavericks.

Centre Jordan verbally committed during the offseason as a free agent to Dallas and then backed out to remain in southern California.

Forward LaMarcus Aldridge returns to Portland with the Spurs to face his former Trail Blazer team the same night.