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2012 NBA schedule: Heat to go back to back during Christmas week

The Miami Heat will play the Thunder in Christmas Day's marquee NBA matchup, while the Magic get Christmas off, hitting the court against New Orleans on Dec. 26.

Mike Ehrmann

Christmas Day is often viewed as a dividing line for NBA fans as to when the game truly start to impact teams and matter in the hunt for playoff spots and eventually shots at the NBA title.

The Miami Heat will get a marquee meeting with the Oklahoma City Thunder on Christmas Day, a rematch of last year's NBA Finals, and a chance to show just how much the game will mean to them on a national stage.

The Heat will also play the next day, against the Charlotte Bobcats with a chance to again prove they belong firmly atop the Eastern Conference.

The Orlando Magic will also get into the action the day after Christmas, taking on a dangerous New Orleans Hornets squad at home.

Tuesday, Dec. 25

Miami Heat vs. Oklahoma City Thunder, 5:30 p.m. ET on ABC

Wednesday, Dec. 26

Miami Heat vs. Charlotte Bobcats, 7 p.m. ET

New Orleans Hornets vs. Orlando Magic, 7 p.m. ET

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.