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NBA schedule 2012: Clippers with two big games this week, Lakers face Rockets

The week in the NBA features some big games including Heat-Knicks and Thunder-Nets.


The NBA schedule from Monday to Thursday features top matchups in both conferences as the season continues to build on the early momentum of some of its best teams and stories.

On Monday, the Los Angeles Clippers face the Utah Jazz in a game between two teams with big frontlines. The Clippers' trump card is the incomparable Chris Paul and a bench that is better than some teams' starting five, led by Jamal Crawford. Clippers-Jazz is part of a six-game slate.

On Tuesday, the Oklahoma City Thunder face the Brooklyn Nets. Russell Westbrook and Deron Williams will go at it in a classic point guard battle while the Nets throw everything they have on the defensive end at Kevin Durant. Watching Reggie Evans and Kendrick Perkins tussle for elbow room should make for a good one. The Los Angeles Lakers also visit the Houston Rockets in a battle of two of the top shooting guards in the league in Kobe Bryant and James Harden. Both games are part of another six-game slate.

On Wednesday, the Denver Nuggets will play the Atlanta Hawks and the Dallas Mavericks will visit the Clippers, both on ESPN. The Nuggets have been up-and-down and the Hawks have been a surprisingly stout defensive team since the departure of Joe Johnson to the Nets. The Mavericks are still without Dirk Nowitzki and will have to try to stop a deep and talented Clippers team. Both games are part of an 11-game slate.

On Thursday, the slate is only two deep but both are nationally televised on TNT as the New York Knicks head to Miami to face the Heat and the Mavericks visit the Phoenix Suns. The Knicks are a half-game back of the Heat in the Eastern Conference and blew out the Heat by 20 in their first matchup. The Mavericks and Suns just don't have the same luster as a primetime game without Nowitzki playing and Steve Nash no longer in Phoenix.

The complete schedule for the week can be found here.