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TNT Sets NBA Schedule

Turner Network Television will air 52 regular-season primetime National Basketball Association games during the 2005-06 season, the network said Monday.

Turner Broadcasting System Inc. -- marking its 22nd season of NBA hoops -- said 48 of the 52 games will be part of exclusive Thursday-night doubleheaders.

Atop the standings with nine TNT appearances each are the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs, the Phoenix Suns, the Miami Heat and the Los Angeles Lakers. Appearing eight times apiece are the Cleveland Cavaliers and Dallas Mavericks.

The network’s schedule tips off Tuesday, Nov. 1, with a special one-hour preview show, NBA Tip-Off ’05, at 7 p.m. (EST), followed at 8 p.m. with an exclusive opening-night doubleheader, with the first game featuringthe Spurs accepting their championship rings prior to hostingthe DenverNuggets, followed by the Mavericks visiting the Suns.

TNT will also once again serve as the exclusive home for NBA All-Star Weekend, airing all of the action on NBA All-Star Friday, NBA All-Star Saturday events and the NBA All-Star Game from Houston.

In addition, the network will air approximately 45 NBA playoff games including, on an exclusive basis, the conference semifinals and the Western Conference Finals.

The network said all of its NBA regular-season and postseason telecasts will air in HD as part of TNT in HD.