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Toronto Raptors Announce 2008-09 Schedule

2008-09 Toronto Raptors Regular Season Schedule

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they will tip-off their 14th season in the National Basketball Association on Wednesday, October 29 against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wachovia Center. The Raptors played host to Philadelphia at Air Canada Centre in last season’s opener. The October 29 start equals the earliest date in franchise history (2003-04 versus New Jersey). This also marks the fifth time in team history the club has started the regular season on the road.

Toronto’s home opener is set for Friday, October 31 against the Golden State Warriors. This will be the fourth time in franchise history the Raptors have faced a Western Conference opponent in the home opener.

The Raptors will play almost half of their road games (18 of the 41) in the season’s first two months (October/November and December). The longest road swing is a six-game trip from December 19-29. The longest home stand of the season is five games from March 20-29.

Noteworthy games in Toronto on the 2008-09 schedule include a lone appearance by LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday, February 18; Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, Paul Pierce and the defending World Champion Boston Celtics come to town for two Sunday matinees (November 23 and January 11); Steve Nash and the Phoenix Suns make their only trip to Canada on Sunday, January 18; Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers appear on Wednesday, February 4; and Chris Paul and the New Orleans Hornets visit Sunday, December 14. On the road, newly-acquired Raptor Jermaine O’Neal will make his first trip back to Indiana on Friday, January 16 to face his former Pacers squad.

Toronto will play its fifth season in the Atlantic Division, joining Boston, New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia. The Raptors were a member of the Central Division from 1995-2004.

The schedule features four games against divisional foes with two home and two away. The remaining 10 conference teams will be played twice at home and on the road with the exception of four teams – two will be played once at home and twice on the road (Cleveland and Washington) and two will be faced twice at home and once on the road (Detroit and Miami). Each Western Conference team will be played once at home and on the road.

The busiest day for the Raptors this season will be Friday with 21 games each on the schedule. Sunday features a season-high 16 home games. On the road, the busiest day is Friday with 10 games.

The majority of the team’s home games will fall on the weekend with 11 games on a Friday and 16 on a Sunday, accounting for nearly two-thirds of the 41 home dates.

The Raptors’ busiest months are October/November, December and January with 16 games. The first three months of the season sees the team playing 48 games compared to 34 over the final three months. The busiest home month is March with nine contests, while the busiest road month will be December with the Raptors facing 10 games away from Toronto.

The Raptors will have 17 back-to-back games this season (down three from last season), with a high of seven being a home game followed by a road game.

The Raptors will release their 2008 preseason schedule in the near future. The team’s 2008-09 local television schedule will be released at a later date. For the third consecutive season, all 82 Raptors games will be aired nationally in Canada. At the present time, the Raptors have two nationally televised games in the United States. They will appear on ESPN on Friday, December 5 from Utah and on ESPN2 on Friday, April 10 versus Washington.

Raptors season tickets are available by calling (416) 366-DUNK, while single-game ticket information will be released at a later date.