NBA schedule 2012: Regular season tips with Thunder in San Antonio

US PRESSWIRE

The Thunder square off against the Spurs in a battle of West powers, and the new-look Lakers take the floor.

Even though the Oklahoma City Thunder don't take the court until Thursday, the 2012-13 NBA season is set to tip off with a full slate with games on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Thunder makes its regular-season debut on Thursday on the road against the San Antonio Spurs on TNT. The Spurs finished last year's lockout-shortened season with a league-best 50-16 record, and the game matches up two teams expected to vie for the Western Conference title. Earlier that night, the New York Knicks strike up what is now an in-city rivalry in Brooklyn against the Nets.

Before then, Tuesday's opening night features the Miami Heat beginning its title defense by hosting the Boston Celtics, as new Heat player Ray Allen plays his former team right away. That game is followed by the L.A. Lakers, now with Steve Nash and Dwight Howard, hosting the Dallas Mavericks, who will be without Dirk Nowitzki.

Here is the schedule of games for the Northwest Division. All times are Central. Find the full slate of the NBA's opening week at SI.com.

Wed., Oct. 31
Denver Nuggets at Philadelphia 76ers - 6:00 p.m.
Dallas Mavericks at Utah Jazz - 8:00 p.m.
L.A. Lakers at Portland Trailblazers - 9:30 p.m.

Thurs., Nov. 1
Oklahoma City Thunder at San Antonio Spurs - 8:30 p.m., TNT

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