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Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, talks with Oklahoma City Thunder guard Chris Paul (3) during a timeout in the second half of an NBA basketball game Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

(Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press)

Two of the top players from the NBA’s 2003 and 2005 draft classes face off in the playoffs for the first time in their careers. One is seeking to get back to the Finals while the other hopes to reach the Finals for the first time.

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LeBron James (2003 draft) and Chris Paul (2005) are friends off the court and maybe the two most influential players in the NBA. But they had never been in the same conference until the 2018-19 season. This makes Sunday’s first-round playoff game at Phoenix Suns Arena a special showdown.

Paul has been the president of the players’ union since August 2013. And there is no discussing the NBA without mentioning James’ impact. If you asked James, the accomplishments that he’s made off the court might be his most notable.

Lakers-Suns schedule for first-round playoff series.Lakers-Suns schedule for first-round playoff series.

Lakers-Suns schedule for first-round playoff series. (Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)

The Lakers, seeded No. 7, are coming off a play-in tournament victory over the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday, when James made a game-winning three-pointer while battling an eye injury that he sustained moments earlier.

The Suns had a successful season and secured the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with a 51-21 record. After being the only team to go undefeated in the NBA bubble last year and still going home before the playoffs, the Suns played with a sense of urgency throughout this season.

Led by Devin Booker and Paul, the Suns have to go through James, who is trying to become a five-time champion. The Suns hadn’t made the playoffs since 2010, when they lost in the Western Conference finals to Kobe Bryant and the Lakers. The Lakers went on to win the championship, five years before the Suns drafted Booker.

Deandre Ayton hopes to return for the Suns. The 7-foot center missed Phoenix’s last two games because of soreness in his left knee. Coach Monty Williams said Ayton is expected to play.

Sunday’s game makes the second time that James has played against a member of his “banana boat crew” in the playoffs. James matched up against fellow vacation buddy Carmelo Anthony in the 2012 Eastern Conference first round, when the Miami Heat bested the New York Knicks, 4-1, and went on to win the NBA Finals.

James never played against Dwyane Wade in the playoffs, but they won back-to-back championships with the Heat in 2012 and 2013.

What channel will Lakers be on?

The game will be broadcast by ABC at 12:30 p.m.

Where can I stream the game?

The best-of-seven series opener can be streamed through these connected TV, iOS and Android applications:

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.