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Celtics release 2011-12 schedule

Posted by Julian Benbow, Globe Staff  December 6, 2011 06:54 PM

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The Celtics will open the season with a three-game road trip starting with their Christmas Day opener against the New York Knicks.

The league just released its revamped 66-game regular-season schedule, and the Celtics will start the year with a three-game road trip that will take them from New York on Christmas Day to Miami Dec. 27 and New Orleans Dec. 28.

They will open up at home Dec. 30 against the Pistons. They get their first look at the defending champion Dallas Mavericks Jan. 11 at the TD Garden. The Celtics host the Lakers Feb. 9, then visit the Staples Center again March 11 to start a grueling stretch of eight-straight road games that essentially combines the West coast trip (Lakers, Clippers, Warriors, Kings and Nuggets) with a three-game stretch (Atlanta, Milwaukee, Philadelphia) in a matter of 13 days.

The only set of back-to-back-to back games comes when they face Toronto, New Jersey and Charlotte on the road from April 13-15. They will not play six Western Conference teams on the road this season: San Antonio, Phoenix, Utah, Portland, Houston, and Memphis.

The schedule is up on the Celtics website. Here are some key games.

Dec. 25: The Celtics open up the season at MSG against the Knicks on Christmas Day.
Dec. 27: They'll see LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh for the first time since their second round playoff battle last season.
Dec. 30: The home opener against the Detroit Pistons.
Jan. 11: The defending champion Dallas Mavericks come to the Garden
Jan. 16: Kendrick Perkins returns to the TD Garden with the Oklahoma City Thunder
Feb. 9: The Lakers come to the Garden.
Feb. 22: Jeff Green returns to Oklahoma City
Mar. 11: The Celtics visit the Staples Center to kick off an eight-game road trip.

There are 19 back-to-backs, some quirkier than others, including a Detroit to Dallas back-to-back.

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