2012 NBA preseason tips off Oct. 5 in Istanbul

NEW YORK – The NBA today released its 2012 preseason schedule, a 115-game slate, which tips off Friday, Oct. 5, in Istanbul when the Boston Celtics take on Turkish basketball power Fenerbahce Ulker at Ulker Sports Arena, and concludes Friday, Oct. 26. NBA TV will televise the game in Istanbul.

Including the Istanbul game between the Celtics and Fenerbahce Ulker, the 2012 schedule features nine games played internationally. NBA Europe Live 2012 presented by BBVA features single games each in Barcelona, Berlin, Istanbul, and Milan as part of this year’s tour.  Following the game in Istanbul, the Celtics, led by veteran stars Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce and Rajon Rondo, move on to Milan to play EA7 Emporio Armani Milano at Mediolanum Forum on Oct. 7. Native son Dirk Nowitzki leads the Dallas Mavericks to Berlin where they will play Alba Berlin at O2 World on Oct. 6. Dallas wraps up NBA Europe Live 2012 presented by BBVA in Spain against FC Barcelona Regal in a game played at Palau Sant Jordi on Oct. 9. All four of the NBA’s preseason contests in Europe will be telecast on NBA TV and the network will add further games to its preseason viewing schedule in the coming weeks.

Preseason basketball returns to Mexico when rookie coach Jacque Vaughn leads the Orlando Magic against the New Orleans Hornets and Anthony Davis, the overall No. 1 pick in the 2012  NBA Draft, in Mexico City at Mexico City Arena on Oct. 7. This marks the NBA’s 20th game in Mexico overall, the most NBA games held in any country outside the United States and Canada. NBA TV will provide coverage of NBA Mexico Game.

The defending champion Miami Heat, featuring Kia NBA MVP LeBron James, and the Los Angeles Clippers, headlined by All-Stars Blake Griffin and Chris Paul, play a pair of contests as part of NBA China Games. The teams will tip off on Oct. 11, as the Heat and Clippers play in Beijing at MasterCard Center. On Oct. 14, Miami and Los Angeles will battle at Mercedes-Benz Arena, Shanghai. NBA TV will carry both NBA China Games contests.

The NBA Canada Series features a two-game slate. Carmelo Anthony and the New York Knicks travel to Montreal to battle Andrea Bargnani and the Toronto Raptors on Oct. 19 at the Bell Centre, while Kevin Love and the Minnesota Timberwolves head to Winnipeg to face Greg Monroe and the Detroit Pistons on Oct. 24 at the MTS Centre.

TNT and ESPN will each televise two games during October.  TNT begins its NBA coverage on Thursday, Oct. 18, when the Celtics visit Deron Williams and the Brooklyn Nets at the Barclays Center at 8 p.m. ET.  The network will also feature a Western Conference showdown on Thursday Oct. 25, when the Clippers travel to the Pepsi Center to face Ty Lawson and the Denver Nuggets at 10 p.m. ET.

ESPN will televise a doubleheader on Oct. 26 beginning with the Heat hosting the Hornets at 8 p.m. ET.  The nightcap will showcase the Nuggets visiting Marcin Gortat and the Phoenix Suns at 10:30 p.m. ET.

The league’s 67th season begins Tuesday, Oct. 30, as part of Kia NBA Tip-Off ’12, with a TNT doubleheader. In the first game (8 p.m. ET), the Heat opens up defense of its NBA title by hosting a Celtics team that took Miami to seven games in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals. Before the game, TNT will televise the championship ring ceremony. The second game features two Western Conference powers as the Mavericks visit the Lakers (10:30 p.m. ET).

Click here for the 2012 NBA preseason schedule.