Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant, left, defends against Houston Rockets' James Harden during the first half of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Ben Margot/Associated Press

The NBA released the schedule for the highly anticipated playoff rematch between the Golden State Warriors and Houston Rockets.

ESPN’s Rachel Nichols tweeted out the full schedule for Games 1-4 as well as Game 5, 6 and 7 if necessary:

The Warriors and Rockets met in a classic series last season in the Western Conference Finals, when Golden State overcame a 3-2 series deficit to win in seven games before sweeping the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals.

Last season, the Rockets were the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference and the Warriors were No. 2. Golden State regained the No. 1 seed this season, but Houston dropped to No. 4, which is why they are meeting in the second round.

Despite the fact that Golden State is a better seed, it can be argued that Houston has been the better team in the playoffs thus far.

The Warriors shockingly dropped two games to the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers before closing them out in Game 6 on Friday behind a 50-point performance by Kevin Durant.

Meanwhile, the Rockets beat the Utah Jazz in five games, marking the second consecutive season in which they eliminated Utah.

Houston got off to a slow start this season with point guard Chris Paul and center Clint Capela both missing time because of injury, which left guard James Harden to carry the load. They are healthy now, though, and entered the playoffs as one of the NBA’s hottest teams.

Even so, the Warriors are -260 (bet $260 to win $100) favorites to win the series, while the Rockets are +210 underdogs, per Action Network.

The battle between Golden State and Houston could rage on for two weeks due, in part, to a scheduling quirk that includes three off days between Game 2 in Oakland and Game 3 in Houston.

Golden State is hoping to reach the Western Conference Finals for the fifth consecutive season before going on to win its third straight championship and fourth in five years.

This season may represent the Warriors’ last chance to win a title in the near future. While Stephen Curry and Draymond Green are still under contract, Durant and Klay Thompson could leave in free agency.

The Rockets are likely desperate to make the Finals as well since CP3 (34 on May 6) is getting up there in age, and they haven’t played for a championship since winning it all in 1995.

Winning the second-round series would represent a major step toward a championship for both franchises, and the winner would likely be the favorite to represent the Western Conference in the NBA Finals.





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