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Utah Jazz: Challenging early schedule will test young team
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The Utah Jazz will open the regular season at home against Oklahoma City on Oct. 30, the first piece of a challenging schedule released by the NBA on Tuesday.

Embracing a youth movement already expected to test the Jazz and their fan base, the franchise, in its 40th season, will play 18 of its first 31 games on the road. After not playing more than four games in a row on the road last season, the Jazz will have road trips of four games, five games and, over one particularly brutal stretch spanning the end of February and beginning of March, six games in nine nights.

The six-game trip will be the team's longest since 2003.

The schedule features 20 back-to-backs, up from 17 a year ago.

Last year, the Jazz finished 43-39, keeping their playoff hopes alive until a loss in Memphis on the final day of the regular season. The roster was gutted in free agency, as veterans Al Jefferson, Paul Millsap, Randy Foye, Earl Watson, Mo Williams and Jamaal Tinsley were not re-signed.

The Jazz will see Millsap and Jefferson for the first time during back-to-back games in Atlanta and Charlotte on Dec. 20 and Dec. 21. The games are part of the team's annual five-game, pre-Christmas road trip, which will take it through Miami, Orlando and, on Dec. 23, Memphis.

Including that trip, the Jazz will play 18 of their first 31 games on the road, including four games in five nights in early November. With the team handed over to former lottery picks including Gordon Hayward, Derrick Favors and point guard Trey Burke, the early schedule could serve as a harbinger for a season few expect to lead the Jazz anywhere but the lottery.

The Jazz will play three games in the first month of the season against the Phoenix Suns and new coach Jeff Hornacek. Hornacek, a star on the Jazz's two Finals teams in the 1990s whose number is retired, will make his return to EnergySolutions Arena on Nov. 29.

The two-time defending champion Heat come to EnergySolutions Arena on Feb. 8, while the Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs will make two trips to Utah: Nov. 15 and Dec. 14.

boram@sltrib.com

Twitter: @tribjazz —

Utah Jazz 2012-13 schedule

Date Opponent Time

Oct. 30 Oklahoma City 7 p.m.

Nov. 1 @ Phoenix 8 p.m.

Nov. 2 Houston 7 p.m.

Nov. 5 @ Brooklyn 5:30 p.m.

Nov. 6 @ Boston 5:30 p.m. Nov. 8 @ Chicago 6 p.m.

Nov. 9 @ Toronto 5 p.m.

Nov. 11 Denver 7 p.m.

Nov. 13 New Orleans 7 p.m.

Nov. 15 San Antonio 7 p.m.

Nov. 16 @ Golden State 8:30 p.m.

Nov. 18 Golden State 7 p.m.

Nov. 20 @ New Orleans 6 p.m.

Nov. 22 @ Dallas 6:30 p.m.

Nov. 24 @ Oklahoma City 5 p.m.

Nov. 25 Chicago 7 p.m.

Nov. 29 Phoenix 7 p.m.

Nov. 30 @ Phoenix 7 p.m.

Dec. 2 Houston 7 p.m.

Dec. 4 Indiana 7 p.m.

Dec. 6 @ Portland 8 p.m.

Dec. 7 Sacramento 7 p.m.

Dec. 9 Portland 7 p.m.

Dec. 11 @ Sacramento 8 p.m.

Dec. 13 @ Denver 7 p.m.

Dec. 14 San Antonio 7 p.m.

Dec. 16 @ Miami 5:30 p.m.

Dec. 18 @ Orlando 5 p.m.

Dec. 20 @ Atlanta 5:30 p.m. Dec. 21 @ Charlotte 5 p.m.

Dec. 23 @ Memphis 6 p.m.

Dec. 27 L.A. Lakers 7 p.m.

Dec. 28 @ L.A. Clippers 8:30 p.m. Dec. 30 Charlotte 7 p.m.

Jan. 2 Milwaukee 7 p.m.

Jan. 3 @ L.A. Lakers 8:30 p.m.

Jan. 7 Oklahoma City 7 p.m.

Jan. 10 Cleveland 7 p.m.

Jan. 13 Denver 7 p.m.

Jan. 15 @ San Antonio 6 p.m.

Jan. 17 @ Detroit 5:30 p.m.

Jan. 18 @ Minnesota 6 p.m.

Jan. 21 Minnesota 7 p.m.

Jan. 25 Washington 7 p.m.

Jan. 27 Sacramento 7 p.m.

Jan. 31 Golden State 8:30 p.m. Feb. 1 @ L.A. Clippers 8:30 p.m. Feb. 3 Toronto 7 p.m.

Feb. 7 @ Dallas 6:30 p.m.

Feb. 8 Miami 7 p.m.

Feb. 11 @ L.A. Lakers 8:30 p.m. Feb. 12 Philadelphia 7 p.m.

Feb. 19 Brooklyn 7 p.m.

Feb. 21 @ Portland 8 p.m.

Feb. 22 Minnesota 7 p.m.

Feb. 24 Boston 7 p.m.

Feb. 26 Phoenix 7 p.m.

Feb. 28 @ Cleveland 5:30 p.m. March 2 @ Indiana 4 p.m.

March 3 @ Milwaukee 6 p.m.

March 5 @ Washington 5 p.m.

March 7 @ New York 5:30 p.m.

March 8 @ Philadelphia 5:30 p.m.

March 10 Atlanta 7 p.m.

March 12 Dallas 7 p.m.

March 14 L.A. Clippers 7 p.m.

March 16 @ San Antonio 5 p.m.

March 17 @ Houston 6 p.m.

March 19 @ Memphis 6 p.m.

March 22 Orlando 7 p.m.

March 24 Detroit 7 p.m.

March 26 Memphis 8:30 p.m.

March 28 @ New Orleans 6 p.m.

March 30 @ Oklahoma City 1 p.m.

March 31 New York 7 p.m.

April 4 New Orleans 7 p.m.

April 6 @ Golden State 7 p.m.

April 8 Dallas 7 p.m.

April 11 Portland 7 p.m.

April 12 @ Denver 7 p.m.

April 14 L.A. Lakers 7 p.m.

April 16 @ Minnesota 6 p.m. —

Breaking it down

Key month • November. With 11 of 16 games on the road, and a four-game Eastern Conference swing in five nights, the tone could be set for what may be a long season.

Longest road trip • Six games, Feb. 28 through March 8. At Cleveland, at Indiana, at Milwaukee, at Washington, at New York, at Philadelphia.

Longest homestand • Four games, Jan. 21 through Jan. 31. Minnesota, Washington, Sacramento, Golden State. —

Notable games

Nov. 8 at Brooklyn • With Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko reunited, fans may be more familiar with the Nets than Jazz.

Nov. 29 vs. Phoenix • The Jazz play their second of three games in one month against the Suns and new coach Jeff Hornacek.

Jan. 17 at Detroit • Trey Burke returns to Michigan, where he led the Wolverines to the NCAA championship game.

Dec. 20 at Atlanta, Dec. 21 at Charlotte • On back-to-back, Jazz see Paul Millsap and Al Jefferson for first time since the big men left in free agency.

Feb. 8 vs. Miami • The defending champion Heat come to Salt Lake City one night after the Jazz play in Dallas.

NBA • Utah to play 18 of its first 31 games on road for 2013-14 season.
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