Suns to open in Portland; get Lakers and Jazz on TV

The NBA announced marquee dates from the 2010-11 regular season schedule Tuesday, and the Phoenix Suns will be tested early with a Utah Jazz-Los Angeles Lakers back-to-back.

The Arizona Republic‘s Paul Coro reported, prior to the league’s one-hour NBA TV special (sound familiar?), that the Suns will open the season on the road against the Portland Trail Blazers, whom the Suns knocked out of the first round of the playoffs last season.

No date is specified in Coro’s report, but the Suns’ opener will likely fall on the league’s opening night, Oct. 26. The Suns open their national TV schedule on Oct. 28 against the Jazz in Salt Lake City. The next night, they’ll travel back to Phoenix to play the Lakers in US Airways Center’s first game of the season.

The NBA is set to roll out the full 2010-11 schedule on Aug. 10. Tuesday’s announcement was the first time in history that the league revealed parts of the regular season schedule early.

According to Coro’s report, the Suns will face an old friend on Martin Luther King Day (Jan. 17) as they take on Amare Stoudemire and the New York Knicks. Both the Portland game and the New York game were not revealed by the NBA on Tuesday.

Coro notes in the report that the Suns’ first two games against the Lakers last season were on the second night of back-to-backs. The scheduling gods strike again.

The Suns’ opener against the Trail Blazers is likely to be overshadowed by two opening night duels: Miami Heat at Boston Celtics and Houston Rockets at Los Angeles Lakers. No surprises there.

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