NEW ORLEANS - The New Orleans Hornets will open the 2011-12 regular season at home on Wednesday, Nov. 2, when they face the Chicago Bulls, the NBA announced Tuesday.

The Bulls, who advanced to the Eastern Conference finals in May before being eliminated by the Miami Heat, will play the Hornets at 7 p.m. in New Orleans Arena to kick off the season.

Ironically, the Heat, which was defeated in the NBA Finals by the Dallas Mavericks, will be the Hornets’ second home opponent when they come to New Orleans Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 9.

In between those games, the Hornets will take a mini-West Coast road swing to take on the Sacramento Kings on Nov. 5 and Los Angeles Lakers on Nov. 6.

All told, the Hornets will play five of their first eight games on their home floor.

Other home games in that early-season stretch are against Golden State (Nov. 11), Houston (Nov. 16) and New Jersey (Nov. 18).

Other highlighted games throughout the season include two home games against the reigning champion Mavericks (Dec. 21 and Jan. 21) and the only matchup in New Orleans against the Boston Celtics (Dec. 28).

The Hornets will close the home portion of their 2011-12 schedule against the Memphis Grizzlies on April 15.

A Thanksgiving night matchup with the Los Angeles Lakers in the Staples Center on Nov. 24 will be nationally televised by TNT at 9:30 p.m.

Also, ESPN will televise the Hornets’ Feb. 17 road game with the New York Knicks at 7 p.m.

Six games will be broadcast by NBATV, including home dates with the Mavericks (Jan. 21) and Lakers (April 9).

The Hornets are scheduled to play 18 of their 41 home games on Friday (11), Saturday (5) or Sunday (2) nights. Their most frequent game night will be Wednesday (16).

All home games will tip off at 7 p.m. except for contests with Milwaukee (Jan. 16, 2 p.m.), Atlanta (Jan. 29, 6 p.m.) and Memphis (April 15, 6 p.m.).

The Hornets’ longest road trips will be two five-game swings from Nov. 19-27 and Feb. 15-25. The longest home stand is five games at the end of the regular season from April 7-15.

The team’s preseason schedule, on-sale dates for individual game tickets for preseason and regular-season games, and the local TV schedule will be released later.

Season tickets are available by calling (504) 525-4667 or on the official team website at http://www.Hornets.com/

2011-12 Hornets schedule

Date Opponent Time (National TV)

November

?2 Chicago 7 p.m.

?5 at Sacramento 9 p.m.

?6 at L.A. Lakers 8:30 p.m.

?9 Miami 7 p.m.

11 Golden State 7 p.m.

12 at San Antonio 7:30 p.m.

16 Houston 7 p.m.

18 New Jersey 7 p.m.

19 at Orlando 6 p.m.

22 at Phoenix 8 p.m.

24 at L.A. Clippers 9:30 p.m. (TNT)

25 at Golden State 9:30 p.m.

27 at Denver 7 p.m.

30 Detroit 7 p.m.

December

?2 at Philadelphia 6 p.m.

?4 at Oklahoma City 6 p.m.

?7 L.A. Clippers 7 p.m.

10 at Minnesota 7 p.m.

12 at Utah 8 p.m.

16 Golden State 7 p.m.

18 at Toronto noon

19 at Washington 6 p.m. (NBA)

21 Dallas 7 p.m.

23 San Antonio 7 p.m.

26 at Charlotte 6 p.m.

28 Boston 7 p.m.

30 Phoenix 7 p.m.

January

?2 at Miami 6:30 p.m.

?4 Philadelphia 7 p.m.

?6 Denver 7 p.m.

?7 at Houston 7 p.m.

11 Oklahoma City 7 p.m.

13 Minnesota 7 p.m.

14 at Memphis 7 p.m.

16 Milwaukee 2 p.m.

18 Houston 7 p.m.

21 Dallas 7 p.m. (NBA)

23 San Antonio 7 p.m.

25 at Dallas 7:30 p.m.

27 Orlando 7 p.m.

29 Atlanta 6 p.m.

February

?1 Denver 7 p.m.

?3 at Oklahoma City 7 p.m.

?4 at Detroit 6:30 p.m.

?6 Cleveland 7 p.m.

?8 Memphis 7 p.m.

10 Portland 7 p.m.

11 at Milwaukee 7:30 p.m.

13 Utah 7 p.m.

15 at Cleveland 6:30 p.m.

17 at New York 7 p.m. (ESPN)

19 at Indiana 5 p.m.

22 at Dallas 7:30 p.m.

28 at Chicago 7 p.m.

29 Toronto 7 p.m.

March

?2 Indiana 7 p.m.

?3 Charlotte 7 p.m.

?5 at Portland 9 p.m.

?7 at Sacramento 9 p.m. (NBA

?9 at Denver 8 p.m.

10 at Minnesota 7 p.m.

12 Oklahoma City 7 p.m.

14 L.A. Lakers 7 p.m.

16 at Atlanta 6:30 p.m.

17 Washington 7 p.m.

19 at New Jersey 6:30 p.m.

20 at Boston 6:30 p.m.

22 L.A. Clippers 7 p.m.

24 Sacramento 7 p.m.

26 at L.A. Clippers 9:30 p.m.

28 at Golden State 9:30 p.m. (NBA)

29 at Portland 9 p.m.

April

?1 at Phoenix 8 p.m.

?4 New York 7 p.m.

?6 at San Antonio 7:30 p.m.

?7 Minnesota 7 p.m.

?9 L.A. Lakers 7 p.m. (NBA)

11 Sacramento 7 p.m.

13 Utah 7 p.m.

15 Memphis 6 p.m. (NBA)

16 at Houston 7 p.m.

18 at Memphis 7 p.m.

All times Central

All-Star Weekend: Feb. 24-26, Orlando, Fla.