Circle your calendars, Knicks fans: Jeremy Lin returns to Madison Square Garden Dec. 17

Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets speaks to

Jeremy Lin of the Houston Rockets speaks to the media as he is introduced during a press conference at Toyota Center. (July 19, 2012) (Credit: Getty Images)

Jeremy Lin's first game back at the Garden to face the Knicks as a Houston Rocket will be Dec. 17.

It won't be Lin's first game against his old team, though. The Knicks, who didn't match the three-year, $25.1-million offer sheet the Rockets gave Lin, play in Houston Nov. 23.

The 2012-13 NBA schedule was released Thursday night, and the Knicks will open Nov. 1 against the Brooklyn Nets in the first regular-season game at the Barclays Center. The TNT game is the first of 25 nationally televised games the Knicks are scheduled to play on TNT, ABC or ESPN.

The Knicks' home opener is the next night against the NBA champion Miami Heat. It's the first of four games they will play against LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, including March 3 at the Garden. Kevin Durant and Western Conference champion Oklahoma City visit March 7.

Lin's return is just one of December's big games. Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash lead the Lakers into the Garden for their only visit Dec. 13 and Deron Williams and the Nets make the short ride over Dec. 19. It's part of the Knicks' season-high six-game homestand.

The Nets and Knicks also will play in the Martin Luther King Jr. matinee game at the Garden Jan. 21.

The Knicks play the Lakers in Los Angeles on Christmas Day in the start of a three-game western trip.

Their longest trip is a five-game trek out West from March 11-18. Carmelo Anthony will return to Denver on March 13 for the first time since being traded to the Knicks.

The Knicks open the season with four games in five nights and end the season by playing 13 of 22 on the road.

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