Saturday, September 18, 2021
Sept. 18, 2021

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Blazers tip-off 52nd season on Oct. 20 vs. Kings

Consecutive home games open 82-game 2021-22 schedule

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The full schedule for the NBA’s 75th anniversary season was released Friday, and the Portland Trail Blazers will start the 2021-22 season at Moda Center against Sacramento on Wednesday, Oct. 20.

The NBA season, which opens on Oct. 19, will be highlighted in part by what will be a yearlong tribute to some of the key moments in league history.

It’s back to a normal schedule for the NBA, with all teams playing 82 games after a 72-game slate last season because the calendar was compressed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The NBA has prioritized player rest over the past several seasons, a trend that continues this year. Teams on average will travel about 43,000 miles, which would be a record low for a 30-team, 82-game season. Single-game road trips are down to about seven per team, a considerable drop from about 10 per team two seasons ago.

Portland’s opening week will continue at home against Phoenix on Oct. 23 before the team heads south for its first road game of the season at the L.A. Clippers on Oct. 25.

The Trail Blazers will take on 10 of 14 Western Conference opponents twice at home and twice on the road, while playing Dallas, Golden State, New Orleans and Sacramento only three times apiece. Of those matchups, the Trail Blazers host Dallas and Sacramento twice, and Golden State and New Orleans once.

The Blazers will face each Eastern Conference opponent once at home and once on the road.

Among the top matchups at the Moda Center include:

  • L.A. Lakers on Nov. 6 and Feb. 9
  • Brooklyn Nets visit on Dec. 23
  • Defending NBA champion Milwaukee Bucks on Feb. 5
  • Golden State makes its lone trip to the Rose City on Feb. 24.

Portland’s longest road trip of the season is a six-game, cross-country journey that starts in Denver on Jan. 13 with stops in Washington D.C. (Jan. 15), Orlando on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 17), Miami (Jan. 19) and Boston (Jan. 21) before concluding at Toronto on Jan. 23.

The Raptors will play at their Toronto home after relocating to Tampa, Fla., last season because of Canadian border restrictions.

Four of the Trail Blazers first five games will be played at Moda Center, contributing to a home-heavy first half of the season, which features 25 of 41 contests in Portland.

The balance shifts in the second half of the season, despite two five-game stints at home from Feb. 4-12 and March 23-30 that mark the longest homestands of the season.

Portland will close out the regular season at home on Sunday, April 10 against Utah.

All 82 Trail Blazers games will be televised by ROOT Sports, or on national carriers. Portland is scheduled to have five games on TNT, four games on ESPN, and seven games on NBATV. All games will also be aired on flagship station Rip City Radio AM 620.

NBA anniversary

A breakdown of some of the season highlights:

  • New York will play host to Toronto on Nov. 1, exactly 75 years to the day after the Knicks visited the then-Toronto Huskies in the first game of the Basketball Association of America’s inaugural season. The BAA was rebranded as the NBA three years later.
  • New York, Boston and Golden State (which began as the Philadelphia Warriors) are the only three franchises that have been part of all 75 NBA seasons, and they’ll all face off in mid-December in nationally televised games. Golden State is at New York on Dec. 14, then the Warriors play at Boston on Dec. 17, and the Knicks visit the Celtics on Dec. 18.
  • The Knicks will be part of another milestone game on March 2: They’ll visit the Philadelphia 76ers exactly 60 years after Wilt Chamberlain scored 100 points to lead the Philadelphia Warriors past the Knicks in a game played at Hershey, Pa.
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