The Suns will open the 2018-19 regular season against the Dallas Mavericks on Oct. 17 at 7:30 p.m., in the second game of a doubleheader broadcast by ESPN and FSAZ.

The matchup features the debuts of the No. 1 overall draft pick Deandre Ayton and the No. 3 overall pick Luka Doncic, while on the other end of the spectrum, Dirk Nowitzki will be playing in his 21st season, setting a league record for consecutive seasons with a single team.

Phoenix will be one of five teams — the Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Lakers, and Dallas Mavericks — who did not make the playoffs last season with a national TV game during opening week.

As a bonus for Arizona sports fans, the game is scheduled for Wednesday Oct. 17 instead of Thursday Oct. 18, when Arizona State hosts Stanford at Sun Devil Stadium at 6 p.m., the Arizona Cardinals host the Denver Broncos at 5:20 p.m. and the Arizona Coyotes play the Chicago Blackhawks at 5:30 p.m.

More: Devin Booker appreciative of new deal, excited about Suns’ changes

Single-game tickets for the Suns will go on sale on Aug. 15 at noon. 

The NBA also announced it’s Christmas Day slate:

  • Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks
  • Oklahoma City Thunder at Houston Rockets
  • Boston Celtics at Philadelphia 76ers
  • Los Angeles Lakers at Golden State Warriors
  • Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz

The last time the Suns were featured in a Christmas Day game was in 2009, a 124-93 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers.

The league also announced its Martin Luther King Jr. Day schedule:

  • New Orleans Pelicans at Memphis Grizzlies
  • Houston Rockets at Philadelphia 76ers
  • Golden State Warriors at Los Angeles Lakers

The full NBA schedule will be released on Friday.