MINNEAPOLIS Some NBA teams are opening their abbreviated 66-game seasons on Christmas Day, but the Minnesota Timberwolves will get started on their schedule the next evening, Dec. 26, at home against Kevin Durant and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The next night, the Wolves will visit Milwaukee for their first road game, and their third and final game of 2011 will be a Dec. 30 home contest against LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat. That game will be the first in a season-high five-game home stand that includes contests against the defending champion Dallas Mavericks (Jan. 1), San Antonio Spurs (Jan. 2), Memphis Grizzlies (Jan. 4) and Cleveland Cavaliers (Jan. 6).
Other schedule highlights include:
--Two more game against the Mavericks: Jan. 25 in Dallas and Jan. 10 at home.
--Six national television games, the most since the 2005-06 season. The Wolves will play four times on NBA TV and once each on ESPN and ESPN2.
--Two sets of back-to-back-to-back games, which arent inc...