The Los Angeles Lakers will open their season by playing host to the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on Oct. 28 and will play on Christmas Day for the 16th consecutive year, playing at Chicago, the NBA announced today.
The opener will mark the first time Kobe Bryant will face former teammate Dwight Howard since he left the Lakers to sign with the Rockets. Bryant missed all four games against Houston last season because of injuries.
The Lakers will play their first of four games against the Los Angeles Clippers on Oct. 31, with the Lakers as the home team. The Lakers will also be the home team April 5. The Clippers will be the home team for the games on Jan. 7 and April 7.
The Lakers will play host to the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs Nov. 14; LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers Jan. 15; the Boston Celtics Feb. 22 and New York Knicks March 12.
The Lakers are scheduled to appear nine times on both ESPN and TNT: eight times on NBA TV and twice on ABC.
This will be the 16th consecutive year the Lakers have played on Christmas Day. They have a 5-10 record in their past 15 Christmas Day games, including losing four of the last five.