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Lakers to play New York Knicks on Christmas Day

The Lakers are still forming their roster for the 2012-13 season.

But they at least know who, when and where they’ll play. And unlike last season, games are not at risk of being canceled because of labor woes.

The Steve Nash-Kobe Bryant duo will make their debut Oct. 30 at Staples Center against the Dallas Mavericks. Lakers fans will also pay attention to other dates.

Nash will first host his former team, the Phoenix Suns, on Nov. 16 before playing them in Phoenix on Nov. 30 and March 18 and in L.A. on Feb. 12. The Lakers have another marquee Christmas Day game at Staples Center (New York Knicks at noon). The Orlando Magic visit the Lakers on Dec. 2 -- which uniforms will Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum be wearing? If they haven’t swapped teams before then, perhaps they might by the time the Lakers play at Orlando on March 12.

In a rematch of the 2012 Western Conference semifinals, the Lakers will travel to Oklahoma City on Dec. 7 and March 5, and be hosts to them on Jan. 11 and Jan 27. In what will likely yield plenty of dunks and trash talking, the Lakers and Clippers will face each other four times. The Lakers’ Broadway-like crowd will be on hand in home games on Nov. 2 and Feb. 14, while the Clippers will blare hip-hop music through their home contests on Jan. 4 and April 7. Even if the Lakers will likely brew animosity against their hometown rival, it won’t compare to their more historical rivalry against the Boston Celtics. The NBA’s most historically esteemed teams will square off in Boston on Feb. 7 and in Los Angeles on Feb. 20.

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In what will be the first of a 20-year deal with the Lakers, Time Warner Cable will show all their games that are not nationally telecast. The Lakers will remain prominent nationally, appearing on TNT, ESPN and NBA TV telecasts a combined 29 times.

The Lakers will open the season with a home-friendly schedule, playing nine of their first 11 games at Staples Center. They will also have 16 sets of back-to-backs in an 82-game schedule, an far cry from the 18 sets of back-to-backs and one triple header the Lakers endured in last year’s compacted 66-game season.

But that’s just to ease them into their seven-game, 12-day Grammy trip from late January to mid February that will stop in Phoenix (Jan. 30), Minnesota (Feb. 1), Detroit (Feb. 3), Brooklyn (Feb. 5), Boston (Feb. 7), Charlotte (Feb. 8) and Miami (Feb. 10).

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Email the Lakers blog at mgmedin@gmail.com. Follow the Lakers blog on Twitter.


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