Fresh from their to-the-wire playoff series last spring, the Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz will pick up where they left off by opening the season with two games against each other on Nov. 2 and Nov. 3.
With one rather significant difference - the games won't be in Salt Lake City or in Phoenix, but Tokyo.Japanese promoters and the NBA arranged for the two games last winter, and the NBA selected the Jazz and Suns as the franchises to play in the first regular season games ever to be held outside the United States.
It was a stipulation of the Japanese promoters that the games not be exhibition-only, and that they would count on the team's records.
Both games will be played in the afternoon in Tokyo and televised back to the U.S.
The Jazz will conclude their exhibition season with a game on Mon., Oct. 29, against the Boston Celtics in Providence, R.I., and will catch a plane in New York the next morning for a 13-hour flight to Tokyo. They will have three days in Japan to acclimatize before facing the Suns Friday and Saturday afternoons.
The Jazz travel plans call for departure immediately after the Saturday night game. Once back in Utah the team will have until Thursady, Nov. 8, to rest up for the regular season home opener in the Salt Palace.