Miami Heat to open vs. Celtics, face Thunder on Christmas Day

07/24/2012 12:01 AM

07/24/2012 12:06 AM

The Miami Heat will open the season at home against Boston and play host to Oklahoma City in a Christmas Day NBA Finals rematch, according to several league sources who have seen the league’s tentative schedule due to be released this week.

That Heat-Thunder game is set for 5:30 p.m. on ABC.

The Celtics opener at AmericanAirlines Arena will be played at 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 30, and be televised by TNT.

The Heat will receive its championship rings that night, assuming Miami follows the protocol of most past NBA champions. The game not only would be a rematch of the Eastern Conference finals, but also Heat guard Ray Allen’s first game against his former team.

The last time the Heat won the championship in 2006, it lost its first game of the following season, 108-66 at home against Chicago.

The Heat’s opening-week schedule will have one other marquee game: Miami will visit Madison Square Garden to play the Knicks on Friday, Nov. 2, with ESPN televising.

The league reserves the right to change the schedule before it is released Thursday, but other Heat games of note include a Dec. 31 day game at Orlando, and the Lakers visiting AmericanAirlines Arena on Feb. 10.

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