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Utah Jazz open NBA season vs. Lakers on Dec. 27
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The NBA announced its lockout-abbreviated 66-game schedule Tuesday night and, all things considered, general manager Kevin O'Connor thinks the Jazz fared well.

Utah, which opens Dec. 27 in Los Angeles against the Lakers, plays only one set of back-to-back-to-back games.

The taxing stretch, not normally done but a concession to the compacted schedule, consists of games at Memphis, New Orleans and Oklahoma City on Feb. 12-14.

"There is a lot of traveling and all that," O'Connor said. "But I think [the NBA] has really done a wonderful job."

Laughing, O'Connor said, "I'm seeing 33 home games and 33 road games. They didn't give us more on the road than at home, so let's play."

Not counting the Memphis-New Orleans-Oklahoma City stretch, the Jazz play 20 sets of back-to-back games, including six in the first 20 days of the season.

"I think that's the way it's going to be for a lot of teams," O'Connor said. "But there have been normal seasons when we've played 21 or 22, I think. So this doesn't seem out of the ordinary to me."

The Jazz play their 66 games in 122 days, with their home opener coming Dec. 30 against the Philadelphia 76ers, as previously reported by The Salt Lake Tribune.

On Jan. 14, All-Star point guard Deron Williams and the New Jersey Nets visit EnergySolutions Arena.

It will be Williams' first game in Utah since he was traded last February, just days after veteran coach Jerry Sloan resigned.

The Jazz play Sacramento and former BYU star Jimmer Fredette four times during the season, including games Jan. 28 and March 30 in Utah.

After playing 12 of 15 games at home in January, the Jazz must play 13 of 19 on the road, including the back-to-back-to-back set against the Grizzlies, Hornets and Thunder.

"Those will be tough," said Jazz point guard Devin Harris. "We'll have to depend on the younger guys for those. But there were some things we had to do to get a [labor] deal done.

"… I don't think anybody likes playing back-to-back, much less triple back-to-backs. But it's something we have to do and, now, we'll get through it."

The Jazz will play six games on Sunday, but none at home, as usual.

The team's policy of not playing at home on Sunday compacts the already-abbreviated schedule.

Utah will play six home games on Monday night.

Month-by-month, the Jazz will play 19 games in March, 15 games in January and February, 13 games in April and four in December, starting with the Lakers.

"We knew once we started missing games it was going to be tight," Harris said. "Looking at the 50-game season they had [in 1999], we know we'll be pushing it a little bit. But I don't think guys will complain too much once we get back to basketball."

The Jazz will appear on national television 12 times this season, including six games on ESPN, four games on NBA-TV and two games on TNT. But they play in front of a national audience only three times after Feb. 12.

Asked whether the fans will respond after the lockout, Harris said, "The best way to do that is win. If we do that, that solves a lot of problems. …

"It was a tough situation on both sides. They've been through a lot. But as long as we bring the game back to them and bring them what they want, I think we'll be all right."

luhm@sltrib.com

Utah Jazz 2011-12 schedule

All times Mountain

December

Mon 19 @ Portland* 8 p.m.

Wed 21 Portland* 7 p.m.

Tue 27 @ Lakers 8:30 p.m.

Wed 28 @ Denver 7 p.m.

Fri 30 Philly 7 p.m.

Sat 31 @ San Ant. 6:30 p.m.

*Preseason

January

Mon 02 N. Orleans 7 p.m.

Tue 03 Milwaukee 7 p.m.

Fri 06 Memphis 7 p.m.

Sat 07 @ Gold. St. 8:30 p.m.

Tue 10 Cleveland 7 p.m.

Wed 11 LA Lakers 7 p.m.

Sat 14 New Jersey 7 p.m.

Sun 15 @ Denver 6 p.m.

Tue 17 LA Clippers 7 p.m.

Thu 19 Dallas 8:30 p.m.

Sat 21 Minnesota 7 p.m.

Wed 25 Toronto 7 p.m.

Fri 27 @ Dallas 6:30 p.m.

Sat 28 Sacramento 7 p.m.

Mon 30 Portland 7 p.m.

February

Wed 01 LA Clippers 8:30 p.m.

Thu 02 @ Gold. St. 8:30 p.m.

Sat 04 LA Lakers 7 p.m.

Mon 06 @New York 5:30 p.m.

Tue 07 @ Indiana 5 p.m.

Fri 10 Okla. City 8:30 p.m.

Sun 12 @ Memphis 7:30 p.m.

Mon 13 @ N. Orlans 6 p.m.

Tue 14 @ Okla. City 6 p.m.

Fri 17 Washington 7 p.m.

Sun 19 @ Houston 5 p.m.

Mon 20 San Antonio 7 p.m.

Wed 22 @ Minn. 6 p.m.

Tue 28 @ Sacra. 8 p.m.

Wed 29 Houston 7

March

Fri 02 Miami 7 p.m.

Sat 03 @ Dallas 6:30 p.m.

Mon 05 @ Clevelnd 5 p.m.

Wed 07 @ Charlotte 5 p.m.

Fri 09 @ Philly 5 p.m.

Sat 10 @ Chicago 6 p.m.

Mon 12 Detroit 7 p.m.

Wed 14 @ Phoenix 8:30 p.m.

Thu 15 Minnesota 7 p.m.

Sat 17 Golden St. 7 p.m.

Sun 18 @ Lakers 7:30 p.m.

Tue 20 Okla. City 7 p.m.

Thu 22 @ Sacra. 8 p.m.

Fri 23 Denver 8:30 p.m.

Sun 25 @ Atlanta 4 p.m.

Mon 26 @ N. Jersey 5:30 p.m.

Wed 28 @ Boston 5:30 p.m.

Fri 30 Sacramento 7 p.m.

Sat 31 @ Clippers 8:30 p.m.

April

Mon 02 @ Portland 8 p.m.

Wed 04 Phoenix 7 p.m.

Fri 06 Golden St. 7 p.m.

Sun 08 @ San Ant. 5 p.m.

Mon 09 San Ant. 7 p.m.

Wed 11 @ Houston 6 p.m.

Fri 13 @ N. Orlans 6 p.m.

Sat 14 @ Memphis 6 p.m.

Mon 16 Dallas 7 p.m.

Wed 18 @ Portland 8 p.m.

Sat 21 Orlando 8:30 p.m.

Tue 24 Phoenix 7 p.m.

Thu 26 Portland 6 p.m.

NBA • Jimmer makes first NBA stops here Jan. 28, March 30
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