The end of the NBA season looks kinda hairy, with a slew of away games for the Utah Jazz. Their schedule, which was released Wednesday, also includes 21 sets of back-to-back contests and three five-game road trips.

Heck, Jerry Sloan's 20th-year coaching anniversary will even happen in Minnesota instead of Utah (not that he'll likely mind that, no doubt).

But the Jazz appear to have received a bit of a scheduling break for one aspect of the 2008-09 NBA regular season, which begins on Oct. 28.

The Jazz, who open this season at EnergySolutions Arena against Denver on Oct. 29, will only have to face the defending NBA Western Conference champion Los Angeles Lakers, the Southwest Division champion New Orleans Hornets and the San Antonio Spurs three times apiece. However, the Spurs and Lakers will only play in Utah once each.

The Jazz will also only see the Los Angeles Clippers three times, but will play all other Western Conference teams four times in the regular season.

Utah will take on each Eastern Conference squad twice, with 2007-08 NBA champion Boston coming to town on Feb. 19 and LeBron James and Cleveland visiting Jan. 24.

The first of the Jazz's 11 nationally televised games will be Nov. 11 at Washington on ESPN, which will air four other Utah games. Deron Williams, Carlos Boozer and crew will be featured on TNT six times, including in the regular-season finale with the Lakers in L.A. on April 14.

Utah's first road game will be against the Clippers at Staples Center on Nov. 3. The Jazz, who struggled to a 17-24 road record last season, finish the season away from Utah in 14 of their final 23 games. December is another road-heavy month, with the annual pre-Christmas excursion taking place from Dec. 15-23 in Boston, New Jersey, Detroit, Chicago and Milwaukee. Utah has four other road games in December with only six home dates.

Utah's preseason slate includes seven games just two at home, with the first one coming on Oct. 9 against the Phoenix Suns. The Jazz's preseason schedule begins Oct. 7 against the Lakers in Anaheim. The Jazz will also face the Chicago Bulls twice in Illinois once at Williams' old stomping grounds at the University of Illinois in Champaign before wrapping up the preseason at home against Portland on Oct. 23.

The Jazz will be on the road for Sloan's 20th head coaching anniversary game on Dec. 9 at Minnesota. Another road game of note will take place on Jan. 14, when Utah visits Oklahoma City to play the relocated Seattle SuperSonics.


2008-09 Utah Jazz Regular Season Schedule

OCTOBER

Wed, Oct 29 Denver 7:00 PM

NOVEMBER

Sat, Nov 1 LA Clippers 7:00 PM

Mon, Nov 3 @ LA Clippers 6:30 PM

Wed, Nov 5 Portland 7:00 PM

Fri, Nov 7 Oklahoma 7:00 PM

Sun, Nov 9 @ NY Knicks 1:00 PM

Tue, Nov 11 @ Philadelphia 5:00 PM

Wed, Nov 12 @ Washington 6:00 PM ESPN

Fri, Nov 14 @ Charlotte 5:00 PM

Sat, Nov 15 @ Cleveland 5:30 PM

Mon, Nov 17 Phoenix 7:00 PM

Wed, Nov 19 Milwaukee 7:00 PM

Fri, Nov 21 @ San Antonio 6:30 PM

Sat, Nov 22 @ Memphis 6:00 PM

Mon, Nov 24 Chicago 7:00 PM

Wed, Nov 26 Memphis 7:00 PM

Fri, Nov 28 Sacramento 7:00 PM

Sat, Nov 29 New Jersey 7:00 PM

DECEMBER

Tue, Dec 2 @ Sacramento 8:00 PM

Wed, Dec 3 Miami 7:00 PM

Fri, Dec 5 Toronto 8:30 PM ESPN

Sat, Dec 6 @ Phoenix 7:00 PM

Tue, Dec 9 @ Minnesota 6:00 PM

Thu, Dec 11 Portland 8:30 PM TNT

Sat, Dec 13 Orlando 7:00 PM

Mon, Dec 15 @ Boston 5:30 PM

Wed, Dec 17 @ New Jersey 5:30 PM

Fri, Dec 19 @ Detroit 6:00 PM

Sat, Dec 20 @ Chicago 6:30 PM

Tue, Dec 23 @ Milwaukee 6:00 PM

Fri, Dec 26 Dallas 7:00 PM

Sat, Dec 27 @ Houston 6:30 PM

Mon, Dec 29 Philadelphia 7:00 PM

JANUARY

Fri, Jan 2 @ LA Lakers 8:30 PM

Mon, Jan 5 Golden State 7:00 PM

Wed, Jan 7 New Orleans 7:00 PM

Sat, Jan 10 Detroit 7:00 PM

Mon, Jan 12 Indiana 7:00 PM

Wed, Jan 14 @ Oklahoma 6:00 PM

Fri, Jan 16 @ Memphis 6:00 PM

Sat, Jan 17 @ Dallas 7:00 PM

Tue, Jan 20 Minnesota 7:00 PM

Wed, Jan 21 @ Houston 6:30 PM

Sat, Jan 24 Cleveland 7:00 PM

Sun, Jan 25 @ Denver 6:00 PM

Tue, Jan 27 San Antonio 7:00 PM

Fri, Jan 30 Oklahoma 7:00 PM

Sat, Jan 31 @ Portland 8:00 PM

FEBRUARY

Mon, Feb 2 Charlotte 7:00 PM

Thu, Feb 5 Dallas 8:30 PM TNT

Fri, Feb 6 @ Sacramento 8:00 PM

Sun, Feb 8 @ Golden State 5:00 PM

Wed, Feb 11 LA Lakers 7:00 PM

Tue, Feb 17 Memphis 7:00 PM

Thu, Feb 19 Boston 8:30 PM TNT

Sat, Feb 21 New Orleans 7:00 PM

Mon, Feb 23 Atlanta 7:00 PM

Wed, Feb 25 @ Minnesota 6:00 PM

Sat, Feb 28 Sacramento 7:00 PM

MARCH

Sun, Mar 1 @ Golden State 7:00 PM

Wed, Mar 4 Houston 7:00 PM

Fri, Mar 6 Denver 8:30 PM ESPN

Sun, Mar 8 @ Toronto 11:00 AM

Tue, Mar 10 @ Indiana 5:00 PM

Wed, Mar 11 @ Atlanta 5:00 PM

Sat, Mar 14 @ Miami 11:00 AM

Sun, Mar 15 @ Orlando 4:00 PM

Tue, Mar 17 Washington 7:00 PM

Fri, Mar 20 @ Oklahoma 6:00 PM

Tue, Mar 24 Houston 8:30 PM TNT

Wed, Mar 25 @ Phoenix 8:30 PM ESPN

Sat, Mar 28 Phoenix 7:00 PM

Mon, Mar 30 NY Knicks 7:00 PM

Tue, Mar 31 @ Portland 8:00 PM

APRIL

Thu, Apr 2 @ Denver 8:30 PM TNT

Fri, Apr 3 Minnesota 7:00 PM

Sun, Apr 5 @ New Orleans 5:00 PM

Wed, Apr 8 @ Dallas 7:30 PM ESPN

Fri, Apr 10 @ San Antonio 6:30 PM

Sat, Apr 11 Golden State 7:00 PM

Mon, Apr 13 LA Clippers 7:00 PM

Tue, Apr 14 @ LA Lakers 8:30 PM TNT


E-mail: jody@desnews.com