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Celtics to face Heat in opener

08.03.10 at 7:27 pm ET
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The NBA unveiled the schedule for their three marquee dates and all of them feature the Celtics.

The Celtics will open the NBA season with a home game against the Miami Heat on October 26 at 7:30 p.m. on TNT in a game that will be hyped as the New Big Three vs. The Old Big Three. Beyond that, the Celtics will get the first crack at what should be their toughest challenge in defending their Eastern Conference crown.

The Heat loaded up in the offseason adding LeBron James and Chris Bosh to team with Dwyane Wade, while the Celtics countered by signing ex-Heat center Jermaine O’Neal and possibly Shaquille O’Neal.

The second half of the opening night doubleheader will have the Rockets playing the Lakers in Los Angeles.

Like last season, the Celtics will be in Orlando on Christmas Day at 2:30 p.m. for a rematch of last season’s conference championship series. The Heat and Lakers will occupy the prime Christmas Day spot at 5 p.m.

The Magic will be in Boston on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 17 with an 8 p.m. game at the Garden.

NBA.com has a full list of the opening week, Christmas and MLK games.

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