Turner Sports, marking its 29th year of NBA coverage,today announced that TNT will televise 52 games during the 2012-13 NBA regular season including 10 appearances by the NBA champion Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Oklahoma City Thunder; nine appearances by the Los Angeles Lakers and L.A. Clippers; and eight appearances by the Boston Celtics and Dallas Mavericks. TNT recorded its highest-rated and most-viewed NBA regular season ever last year and the network has generated five straight seasons of growth among viewers and households.
For the 11th consecutive year, the NBA season will exclusively open on TNT with a doubleheader Tuesday, Oct. 30, featuring the Heat and Finals MVP LeBron James hosting the Celtics and Kevin Garnett at 8 p.m. ET. TNT's coverage will include Miami's championship ring ceremony during the one-hour TNT NBA Tip-Off '12 presented by AutoTrader.com pre-game show at 7 p.m. In the second game, the Lakers and offseason acquisition Steve Nash will host the Mavericks, the 2011 NBA champion led by Dirk Nowitzki, at 10:30 p.m.
TNT's opening week coverage will also include a Thursday doubleheader, Nov. 1, with the home debut of the Brooklyn Nets, led by DeRon Williams, against the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony at 7 p.m., followed by a Western Conference Finals rematch when the Thunder and Kevin Durant visit the San Antonio Spurs and Tim Duncan at 9:30 p.m. TNT will televise 20 Thursday night NBA doubleheaders this season.
Additional schedule highlights (full schedule listed below):
Dec. 6 - an Eastern Conference rivalry game when the Heat host the Knicks at 8 p.m.
Dec. 13 - the Lakers and Kobe Bryant meeting the Knicks at Madison Square Garden at 8 p.m.
Dec. 20 - a 2011 NBA Finals rematch between the Heat and Mavericks at 9:30 p.m.
Dec. 27 - a showdown of elite NBA point guards when the Celtics and Rajon Rondo visit the Clippers and Chris Paul at 10:30 p.m.
Jan. 17 - a doubleheader beginning with the Clippers facing the Minnesota Timberwolves and Kevin Love at 8 p.m., a matchup which has recently generated close outcomes and standout individual performances, followed by the Heat visiting the Lakers at 10:30 p.m.
Jan. 21 - a speciAl Martin Luther King Day doubleheader including the Spurs visiting the Philadelphia 76ers at 7 p.m., followed by the Chicago Bulls hosting the Lakers at 9:30 p.m.
Feb. 7 - storied franchises meeting in a rivalry game when the Celtics host the Lakers at 8 p.m.
Feb. 14 - a Valentine's Day doubleheader beginning with a Finals rematch between the Heat and Thunder at 8 p.m., followed by a Los Angeles showdown between the Lakers and Clippers and Blake Griffin at 10:30 p.m.
Feb. 21 - the Chicago Bulls and Luol Deng facing the Heat at 8 p.m.
March 5 & 7 - consecutive appearances by the Thunder when they host the Lakers on March 5 at 9:30 p.m. then visit the Knicks on March 7 at 8 p.m.
March 14 - an intra-state clash when the Mavericks visit the Spurs at 8 p.m.
March 26 - an Eastern Conference rivalry game when the Celtics host the Knicks at 7 p.m.
April 2 - a marquee doubleheader opening with the Heat hosting the Knicks at 8 p.m., followed by the Mavericks visiting the Lakers at 10:30 p.m.
April 4 - in TNT's second doubleheader of the week, the Bulls visiting the Nets at 7 p.m., followed by the Thunder hosting the Spurs at 9:30 p.m.
April 11 - the Knicks and Bulls, both anticipated playoff contenders, meeting at 8 p.m.