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2012 NBA schedule: Mavericks have a light early week while the league celebrates Christmas

When the Mavericks do play, they'll be in the national spotlight against the Western Conference-leading Oklahoma City Thunder.

USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Mavericks have three days off before getting back on the floor to face the Oklahoma City Thunder on TNT on Thursday, Dec. 27 at 7 p.m. CT in Oklahoma City. The Los Angeles Clippers and Boston Celtics follow on TNT at 9:30 p.m. CT.

The rest of the league will stay busy as the Christmas holiday provides fans and teams with some big matchups as well as some much-needed downtime.

There are no games on Monday but five games make up the Christmas Day schedule. The Celtics will visit the Brooklyn Nets at 11 a.m. CT on ESPN. The New York Knicks travel to Los Angeles to take on the Lakers at 2 p.m. CT on ABC followed by the Oklahoma City Thunder facing the Heat in Miami at 4:30 p.m. CT in a rematch of last year's finals. ESPN finishes off the night with a doubleheader of the Houston Rockets at the Chicago Bulls at 7 p.m. CT and the Denver Nuggets at the red-hot Clippers at 9:30 p.m. CT.

On Wednesday, the schedule gets back to normal with 13 games including the Bulls visiting the Indiana Pacers, the Houston Rockets at the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Lakers visiting the Denver Nuggets and the Golden State Warriors taking on the Jazz in Utah.

The complete schedule can be found here.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.