NBA owners and players resumed talks Friday aimed at ending the 148-day lockout in time to save the league’s Christmas Day schedule.

That deadline has created a sense of urgency because the Dec. 25 schedule is traditionally a showcase for the league. This season’s three-game slate was to include Miami at Dallas in an NBA final rematch, plus MVP Derrick Rose leading Chicago into Los Angeles to face Kobe Bryant and the Lakers.

After a secret meeting earlier this week, the sides have returned to the table for more discussions. Commissioner David Stern has said the league needs about 30 days from an agreement to when games could be played.

Participating in the talks for the league were Stern, deputy commissioner Adam Silver, Spurs owner Peter Holt, the chairman of the labour relations committee, and lawyer Rick Buchanan and Dan Rube. The players were represented by executive director Billy Hunter, president Derek Fisher, vice-president Maurice Evans, attorney Ron Klempner and economist Kevin Murphy.

– Reported by Brian Mahoney of the Associated Press