Shorter NBA Schedule Has 42 Back-to-Back-to-Backs

December 6, 2011 - 8:36 PM

NEW YORK (AP) — The Los Angeles Lakers will play games on the first three nights of the NBA season, the first of 42 back-to-back-to-back sets teams will face during this lockout-shortened season.

The NBA announced the compacted, 66-game schedule on Tuesday night, one that will require every team to play on three consecutive nights at least once. And it will force every team to navigate demanding stretches that are never seen during a full season, such as the nine games in 12 nights the Atlanta Hawks face starting with their Dec. 27 opener.

The league's 66th season begins with five games on Christmas, including the Lakers hosting the Chicago Bulls. Los Angeles then visits Sacramento the next night before returning home to host Utah on Dec. 27.