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Heat-Celtics to kick off NBA regular season

The SportsXchange

The Miami Heat will open the defense of their NBA title at home against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday, Oct. 30.

It will be a rematch of the Eastern Conference Finals, along with the Heat debut of former Celtics guard Ray Allen. Allen is scheduled to return to Boston for the first time on Jan. 27.

The full regular-season schedule was released Thursday, with the Lakers playing host to the Mavericks and the Wizards visiting the Cavaliers the other two games on opening night.

Jeremy Lin's debut with the Houston Rockets will come at Detroit the following night, along with eight more games.

The NBA created another compelling matchup with the Brooklyn Nets playing their first regular-season game in their new arena against the Knicks on Nov. 1. The Oklahoma City Thunder travel to the San Antonio Spurs the same night in a rematch of the Western Conference Finals.

Other highlights of the schedule include:

--Miami will play host to Oklahoma City on Christmas Day in a rematch of the NBA Finals. There will be four other games that day, including the Knicks at the Lakers as part of ABC's doubleheader.

--Miami is scheduled to play at the Knicks during the opening week of the season, Nov. 2 on ESPN. The other matchup in the doubleheader is the Clippers at the Lakers.

--Former Suns guard Steve Nash will make his first return to Phoenix when the Lakers visit on Jan. 30. His first game against his former team will be in Los Angeles on Nov. 16.

--The regular season will conclude on April 17, 2013, with the playoffs beginning three days later.
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