NBA releases 2011-12 season schedule

NEW YORK -- The NBA released its complete 2011-12 schedule Tuesday despite being in a lockout that could last months and cause it to be scrapped.

The defending champion Dallas Mavericks will open the season -- if it begins on time -- at home Nov. 1 against MVP Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls.

On the back end of the opening-night doubleheader: The Oklahoma City Thunder play the Lakers in Los Angeles.

Owners and players are still well apart in negotiations on a labor deal to replace the one that expired June 30. There is a fear that regular-season games could be lost to a work stoppage for the second time in league history.

Most teams will begin Nov. 2. LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh start their second season together on the Heat with a game against the Knicks.

The Mavericks will host the Thunder Nov. 5 in a rematch of their Western Conference finals encounter.

Speaking of reacquaintances, Dallas takes on Miami in a Finals rematch that is the middle game of a Christmas Day tripleheader. At noon ET, the Celtics take on the Knicks on ESPN, followed by Heat-Mavs at 2:30 p.m. ET (ABC) and Bulls-Lakers at 5 ET, also on ABC.

In a rematch of their Eastern Conference finals series, the Bulls and Heat square off Jan. 19.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.