OKC Thunder scheduled to open 2011-12 season at Los Angeles Lakers

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Modified: July 19, 2011 at 1:56 pm •  Published: July 19, 2011

The Oklahoma City Thunder is scheduled to open the 2011-12 season with a road game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 1.

Whether the NBA will be open for business by then, however, remains one big mystery.

But if the league's owners and players union settle the current labor dispute in time for the start of the season, the Thunder will be one of the most prominently featured teams this season.

The Thunder's season opener is part of an opening night double-header on TNT. It's one of 27 nationally televised games the Thunder is scheduled to have this season across TNT, ESPN, ABC and NBA TV. Last season, Oklahoma City started the season with 24 scheduled nationally televised games across those networks.

This year's national television slate includes nine games on ESPN, eight games apiece on TNT and NBA TV and two games on ABC.

Following the season opener, the Thunder will travel to Phoenix on the second night of a back-to-back before the home opener on Nov. 4 against Indiana. The Thunder then travels to Dallas on Nov. 5 for a rematch of the Western Conference Finals matchup with the Mavericks.

The Lakers are scheduled to make their first appearance in Oklahoma City on Nov. 23 in a game that will be televised by ESPN. The Thunder will host the Lakers a second time on Sunday, April 8, an afternoon game that will be broadcast on ABC.

Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and the Miami Heat will make their only appearance in Oklahoma City on Sunday, March 25, another afternoon game. And reigning MVP Derrick Rose will lead the Chicago Bulls into town for the only time on Sunday, April 1 for a scheduled noon tipoff.

Former OU standout and reigning Rookie of the Year Blake Griffin will come to town twice this season when his Los Angeles Clippers play the Thunder on March 21 and April 11.

The Thunder is scheduled to end the season with a three-game road trip at Minnesota on April 14, at the L.A. Clippers on April 16 and at Phoenix on April 18. The regular season home finale is against Sacramento on April 13.

Here's a look at the complete schedule.

NOVEMBER

Tuesday, Nov. 1 @ LA Lakers, 9:30 p.m., TNT

Wednesday, 02 @ Phoenix, 9:00 p.m.

Friday, 04 vs Indiana, 7:00 p.m.

Saturday, 05 @ Dallas, 7:30 p.m., NBATV

Tuesday, 08 @ New York, 6:30 p.m.

Thursday, 10 @ Chicago, 7:00 p.m., TNT

Sunday, 13 vs Toronto, 6:00 p.m.

Monday, 14 @ Charlotte, 6:00 p.m.

Wednesday, 16 vs New Jersey, 7:00 p.m.

Friday, 18 vs Denver, 7:00 p.m.

Sunday, 20 vs Utah, 6:00 p.m.

Monday, 21 @ San Antonio, 7:30 p.m., NBATV

Wednesday, 23 vs LA Lakers, 6:30 p.m., ESPN

Friday, 25 vs Memphis, 7:00 p.m.

Thunder Bandwagon Tramel: No Christmas Day game for OKC
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