Blazers’ schedule opens with the Lakers



Well, it’s been a little while since we’ve seen one of these: An 82-game schedule.

Coming off of a lockout-shortened season that contained only 66 games, the Trail Blazers released their 2012-13 schedule Thursday. And they are wasting no time with drama.

The Blazers’ season will open October 31 with a home game against the Lakers. Those will be a revamped Lakers who have added Steve Nash and rekindled their NBA title hopes.

For Blazers fans, however, what is perhaps the most intriguing matchup comes about three weeks later, when Brandon Roy returns to the Rose Garden on Nov. 23 as a member of the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Roy, one of the best and most beloved players in franchise history, missed last season after retiring because of chronic knee injuries. He is attempting a comeback with Minnesota.

The world champion Miami Heat come to Portland on Jan. 10; the Western Conference champion Oklahoma City Thunder visit Jan. 13 and April 12; and the Lakers return April 10.

A total of 14 Blazers games, meanwhile, will be broadcast nationally on either TNT, ESPN, or NBA TV.

Like last year, the Blazers will have a six-game road trip and a seven-game road trip.

The seven-game journey comes relatively early, with Portland meeting Brooklyn Nov. 25, then taking on Detroit, Washington, Boston, Cleveland, Charlotte, and Indiana before returning home Dec. 8.

The six-game trip takes place just before the All-Star Game, with the Blazers facing Minnesota on Feb. 4, then playing Dallas, Houston, Orlando, Miami, and New Orleans prior to the break.

Portland will play 17 back-to-back games.