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Lakers open season against Trail Blazers

Times Staff Writer

The NBA released its schedule Wednesday, and the Lakers will open their 2008-09 season by hosting Greg Oden and the Portland Trail Blazers at Staples Center on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

The Clippers, with new point guard Baron Davis, begin their season by hosting the Lakers on Oct. 29.

On Christmas Day, the Lakers will play the NBA champion Boston Celtics at Staples at 2 p.m. in an ABC game, one of five nationally televised NBA games that day.

Other highlights: The Phoenix Suns, and Shaquille O’Neal, play here against the Lakers on Wednesday, Dec. 10; the Minnesota Timberwolves, with former UCLA star Kevin Love, play the Lakers at Staples on Sunday, Dec. 14; and LeBron James and the Cavaliers play the Lakers at Staples on Monday, Jan. 19.

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The Lakers’ longest trip is late in the season, with a seven-game trek ending in Milwaukee on April 1. The Lakers’ regular season ends with a game at home against Utah on April 14.

As for the Clippers, they have a tough schedule in the first month, with two games against the Lakers, two against Utah and two against Denver, plus home games against Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and New Orleans.

Their former All-Star forward Elton Brand, who signed with Philadelphia in the off-season, returns to Staples to play the Clippers in a New Year’s Eve game. Former USC star O.J. Mayo, now with the Memphis Grizzlies, will play his first games at Staples Center as a pro in back-to-backs against the Lakers on March 3 and the Clippers on March 4. The Clippers’ last game of the regular season is at home against Oklahoma City on April 15.

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barry.stavro@latimes.com


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