NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The basketball battle for New York will extend deep into the season this time around.
The NBA schedule was announced on Tuesday night, and the Nets and Knicks play twice in April, including the second-to-last day of the regular season.
The Atlantic Division rivals split the four-game series last season, the first since the Nets moved from New Jersey to Brooklyn. It was over quickly, a disappointment to New York fans, with the last matchup scheduled for Dr. Martin Luther King Day.
This season, they face off for the first time on Dec. 5 in Brooklyn. They meet again in a Madison Square Garden matinee on the Jan. 20 holiday, followed by games at MSG on April 2 and Barclays Center on April 15.
It’ll be an interesting rivalry this year with the Nets bringing in stars Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.
“I think we’re going to be right up there with the best of them (in the Eastern Conference),” Pierce said last month during his introductory press conference. “I mean, right now you talk about Miami, obviously, they’re the champs. You look at what Chicago is doing. Indiana. And then I think you’ve really gotta take a close look at what we’ve been able to put together.”
Notice a team missing?
Pierce was later asked on WFAN radio if he intentionally left out the Knicks.
“Definitely,” he said.
Other highlights of the NBA schedule:
—The Heat will open their title defense against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 29 in the expected return of Derrick Rose, with an all-Los Angeles matchup later that night in the Lakers’ first game without Dwight Howard and the Clippers’ first with Doc Rivers.
—The Heat will host the Spurs on Jan. 26 in their first meeting since they edged San Antonio in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. The teams also meet in Texas on March 6.
—The marquee Christmas Day schedule features five games: Chicago at Brooklyn, Oklahoma City at New York, Miami at the Lakers, Houston at San Antonio, and the Clippers at Golden State.
— No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett could make his NBA debut at home when Cleveland hosts Brooklyn on Oct. 30.
—The Nets have a three-game road trip in three different countries from Jan. 11-20. They open at Toronto, travel to London to face the Atlanta Hawks on Jan. 16 in the O2 Arena, and then return to New York to visit the Knicks.
—San Antonio and Minnesota play Dec. 4 in Mexico City.
—The regular season ends April 16. The All-Star game is Feb. 16 in New Orleans.
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