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Oklahoma City Thunder's first five games

BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, Published: December 24, 2011

Today: vs. Orlando, 7 p.m. (ESPN) — Finally, after a 149-day lockout and missing 16 regular-season games, let's light this candle — on Christmas Day, no less.

Monday: at Minnesota, 7 p.m. (FSO) — There is pressure on the Thunder. OKC doesn't want to be the team that ends the Timberwolves' 15-game losing streak.

Wednesday: at Memphis, 7 p.m. (FSO) — Last year's Western Conference semifinal matchup is revisited. The Grizzlies now have Rudy Gay, but lost Shane Battier.

Thursday: vs. Dallas, 7 p.m. (TNT) — Last year's Western Conference Finals matchup is revisited. The Mavericks now have Lamar Odom, but lost Tyson Chandler.

Saturday: vs. Phoenix, 7 p.m. (FSO) — The Thunder will be looking to push its New Year's Eve record to 4-0 — all at home — since moving to Oklahoma City.

NBA important dates for the 2011-12 season and beyond

Dec. 25: Start of 66-game season.

Jan. 25: Deadline for rookie contract extensions.

Feb. 6: 10-day contracts can be signed.

Feb. 10: All contracts guaranteed for remainder of the year.

Feb. 24-26: 2012 NBA All-Star Weekend (Orlando).

March 15: Trade deadline.

April 11-14: Portsmouth (Va.) Invitational Tournament.

April 26: Regular season ends.

April 27: NBA playoff rosters set (2 p.m.).

April 28: Playoffs begin.

April 29: Draft early entry eligibility deadline (10:59 p.m.).

May 14-15: Conference semifinals (possibly move up to May 12-13).

May 28-29: Conference finals (possibly move up to May 26-27).

May 30: Draft Lottery.

June 12: Finals begin.

June 18: Draft early entrant withdrawal deadline (4 p.m.).

June 26: Last possible date for Game 7 of Finals.

June 28: 2012 NBA Draft.

July 1-10: Moratorium period.

July 11: Teams may begin signing free agents.

July 27-Aug. 12: 21012 Summer Olympics (London).

Source — NBA


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