By Frank Hanrahan

The Wizards will open up the 2011-12 NBA season hosting New Jersey on December 26 and will close out the lockout shortened 66-game season with a visit from Lebron James, Dwyane Wade and Miami on April 26.

Highlights of the 2011-12 home schedule include a five-game homestand from Jan. 14-22 that brings Philadelphia, Houston, Oklahoma City, Denver and Boston back to town. Miami’s first visit to the nation’s capital (Feb. 10) during a stretch of four games on every other day from Feb. 4-10  that also includes the Clippers, Raptors and Knicks, the Lakers’ lone visit of the season on March 7 and the home finale against the Heat on April 26.

“We’re excited to have our schedule and for our fans to know when they will be able to see this young, athletic team back in a competitive environment,” Wizards President Ernie Grunfeld said. “We’re looking forward to starting training camp this week and can’t wait for Dec. 26 when we return to the court at Verizon Center.”

As for the dreaded back-to-back-to-back games caused by the condensed season, the Wizards have three straight games just once, March 24-26, as they host Atlanta, then visit Boston and then come back home to face Detroit.

The Wizards kick off training camp Friday at Verizon Center.


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