Lakers' season to start Oct. 30 vs. Dallas
The NBA schedule-makers were relatively generous this time.
They decided to wedge in a day off among the Lakers' first three games.
A year after the Lakers opened the season with back-to-back-to-back games as part of a lockout-compacted schedule, they will play three games in four days starting with their Oct. 30 opener against Dallas at Staples Center.
The Lakers' schedule that was released Thursday also calls for them to play Oct. 31 at Portland before returning to Staples Center to play the Clippers on Nov. 2 in a designated Lakers home game.
Then they can exhale … for 48 hours. Their next game comes Nov. 4 against Detroit.
While the Lakers have a full season's worth of dates at their disposal, they will endure 16 back-to-back situations, only two fewer than they did last year.
Their schedule will be home heavy in the early going, with nine of their first 11 games at Staples Center.
The Lakers will be home for Christmas for a sixth consecutive year, hoping a victory accompanies the yuletide cheer inside Staples Center in a nationally televised game against the New York Knicks.
The Clippers will also take part in the Christmas cheer, playing Denver later in the day as part of a doubleheader at Staples Center.
The Lakers and Clippers will play each other four times after meeting on only three occasions last season because of the truncated schedule. The Lakers will also travel to every NBA city at least once, something they didn't do last season.
One of their stops will be in Cleveland on Dec. 11, when Lakers Coach Mike Brown will face his former team on its home court for the first time. The Lakers defeated the Cavaliers last season at Staples Center under Brown.
Steve Nash won't have to wait as long to play against his old team. The Lakers will play host to the Phoenix Suns on Nov. 16, giving Nash a chance to beat the team he spent 10 seasons with over two stints before coming to Southern California.
The Lakers' longest trip encompasses seven games and 12 days from Jan. 30-Feb. 10, including a stop in Brooklyn at the new Barclays Center and back-to-back games against Boston and Charlotte.
The Lakers won't play defending champion Miami until Jan. 17, at Staples Center. The Lakers will have played Oklahoma City, the team that eliminated them in the Western Conference semifinals, twice by then, on Dec. 7 at Chesapeake Energy Arena and on Jan. 11 at Staples Center.
Orlando will visit Staples Center on Dec. 2, though it's unknown whether Dwight Howard will occupy the visitor's locker room. He could be in a Lakers uniform by then, or playing for another team.
- Ben Bolch