Hornets’ 66 game schedule announced

NEW ORLEANS — The New Orleans Hornets will open the 2011-12 regular season on the road on Monday, Dec. 26, when they take on Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns followed by the home opener two days later on Wednesday, Dec. 28 vs. Ray Allen, Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and the Boston Celtics.

The Hornets play 10 of their first 17 games at home to open the season, including a tilt against Dirk Nowitzki and the World Champion Dallas Mavericks on Saturday, Jan. 21.

Other highlighted games throughout the season include two home games against Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday, Mar. 14 and Monday, Apr. 9, the lone home match-up against reigning NBA scoring champion Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, Jan. 11 and the final home game of the regular season against the division rival Houston Rockets on Thursday, Apr. 19.

The Hornets will play 13 of their 33 home games on Friday (7), Saturday (4) or Sunday (2) night. Their most frequent game night will be Wednesday (11).

All home games will tip off at 7p.m. with the following exceptions: Monday, Jan. 16 vs. Portland; Sunday, Jan. 29 vs. Atlanta; Sunday, Apr. 15 vs. Memphis. The Blazers game will tip off at 2:00 p.m., while the Hawks and Grizzlies games will tip off at 6 p.m.

The Hornets’ longest road trip will be a six-game swing taking place Feb. 15-28 which includes a back-to-back-to-back against Oklahoma City, Indiana and Cleveland. The longest home stand is five games taking place at the end of the regular season, Apr. 7-15.

The Hornets will appear on national television twice (both road games) during the season. New Orleans will battle Carmelo Anthony, Amare Stoudemire and the New York Knicks on Friday, Feb. 17 on ESPN and takes on Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors on TNT on Tuesday, April 24. They will also appear on NBATV seven times throughout the season including both road match-ups against Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers (Monday, March 26 and Sunday, Apr. 22).

The Hornets play 12 Eastern Conference teams just once and three Eastern Conference teams twice (Charlotte, Chicago, Indiana). The Hornets will face Eastern Conference foes Atlanta, Boston, Orlando, Philadelphia, Toronto and Washington at home but will not travel to those cities. They will travel to Eastern Conference cities Cleveland, Detroit, Miami, Milwaukee, New Jersey and New York but will not face them at home. The Hornets face Western Conference foes Memphis, San Antonio, Denver, Portland, Phoenix and Sacramento four times this season, while facing Dallas, Golden State, Houston, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Minnesota, Oklahoma City and Utah three times.

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