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Heat to take center stage on opening night against Celtics

NEW YORK (Reuters) - LeBron James and his new Miami Heat team mates Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh will be thrust into the spotlight on the opening night of the 2010-11 National Basketball Association (NBA) season when they visit the Boston Celtics, the NBA announced Tuesday.

The Heat and the Eastern Conference champion Celtics will kick off the new season as part of a mouthwatering doubleheader on October 26, as Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers begin their quest for a third straight title when they host the Houston Rockets in the second game.

NBA fans will get their first look at number one overall draft pick John Wall on October 28 when the Washington Wizards visit the Orlando Magic at the newly opened Amway Center after the NBA revealed its schedule of "marquee" games for the opening round and the Christmas Day and Martin Luther King Jnr Day holidays.

The Heat and the Lakers will square off at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Christmas Day while Orlando Magic host the Celtics in a repeat of last season's Eastern Conference final in another blockbuster day.

Interest in next season's schedule was given added interest after one of the most intensive free agency periods in the NBA which resulted in James, a two-time NBA Most Valuable Player, leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers to join fellow All-Stars Wade and Bosh in Miami.

The remainder of the 2010-11 NBA regular season schedule will be announced on August 10, the NBA said.

(Writing by Steve Ginsburg in Washington; Editing by Julian Linden)