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Clippers will play eight of their first nine games at Staples Center

Clippers open against Memphis on Halloween at home and play host to Denver on Christmas night.

July 27, 2012|By Broderick Turner
  • Clippers open against Memphis on Halloween at home.
Clippers open against Memphis on Halloween at home. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

When the NBA put together the 2012-13 schedule, the league seems to have kept in mind the memorable seven-game, first-round playoff series between the Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies.

Perhaps that explains why the Clippers will open the regular season against Memphis on Halloween night at Staples Center.

The Clippers beat the Grizzlies in seven games in the spring, winning Game 7 in Memphis, where L.A. will visit Jan. 14 for the first time since that stunning victory.

The Clippers play eight of their first nine games at Staples Center — one is against the Lakers in their designated home game in the arena both teams share.

And the Clippers will play on Christmas for the second consecutive year, hosting the Denver Nuggets at Staples Center at 7:30.

That's what the Clippers get now that they have All-Stars in Chris Paul and Blake Griffin and have marquee players like Chauncey Billups, Grant Hill, Lamar Odom and Jamal Crawford.

And it is because of that group that the Clippers will play four nationally televised games on ABC, the most in franchise history.

The Clippers play the Lakers at Staples Center on the first night of back-to-back games in the Lakers' home game Nov. 2. The Clippers will play 20 sets of back-to-back games.

Another marquee game will come Nov. 14 when the NBA champion Miami Heat comes to L.A. to face the Clippers.

The Clippers play the NBA runner-up Oklahoma City Thunder three times — at Oklahoma City on Nov. 21 and at Staples Center on Jan. 22 and March 3.

The Clippers' first extended trip is four games in six days, starting Nov. 19 at San Antonio and continuing at Oklahoma City, Brooklyn and Atlanta.

When the Grammy Awards are at Staples Center, the Clippers will embark upon their longest trip of the season, playing eight games over 13 days.

That takes them to Minnesota on Jan 30, Toronto on Feb. 1, Boston on Feb. 3, Washington on Feb. 4, Orlando on Feb. 6, Miami on Feb. 8, New York on Feb. 10 and Philadelphia on Feb. 11.

broderick.turner@latimes.com

twitter.com/BA_Turner

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