Miami Heat release first half of 2020-21 NBA schedule

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The first half of the Miami Heat’s 2020-21 season schedule has been announced, with action set to get underway with a Dec. 23 road clash against the Orlando Magic.

Less than two days after that opener, the Heat will stay on the road for a Christmas Day matchup against Zion Williamson and the New Orleans Pelicans. That contest will start a busy holiday schedule for the league.

The Heat then return to Miami to host the Milwaukee Bucks in consecutive matchups set for Dec. 29 and Dec. 30 at American Airlines Arena.

The scheduling of the Bucks and other teams for two straight matchups is part of an effort by the NBA to compress the 72-game regular-season schedule that will be in place this season.

On Feb. 20, the Heat will have the opportunity to exact some revenge when they face the NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers in a nationally televised matchup.

After the 2019-20 NBA season was halted because of the coronavirus pandemic, play resumed in late July. The Heat put together a strong run before falling in six games to the Lakers in the finals.

Exactly when the remainder of the 2020-21 schedule will be released is unknown, with the league hoping that the possibility of another stoppage of play like last season doesn’t occur.

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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.