NBA announces early playoff schedule

April 26, 2012 at 2:37 PM
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NEW YORK, April 26 (UPI) -- The Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat, the teams with the best records in the Eastern Conference, have games Saturday to tip off the NBA playoffs.

The Bulls, at 49-16 the best record in the conference, will go against either Philadelphia or New York in the first round while the Heat is to be paired against the team that doesn't play Chicago.

Exact pairings won't be determined until after the NBA regular season wraps up Thursday night. All series will be best-of-seven.

Also Saturday, the Orlando Magic and the Indiana Pacers open their conference quarterfinal series. The series between Boston and Atlanta is to begin Sunday, but Thursday's results need to be determined before a home team is known for that game.

West No. 1-seed San Antonio will play host to Utah for the first game of a series that begins Sunday. Oklahoma City, the second seed, will go against either defending NBA champion Dallas or Denver in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. That series also starts Saturday.

The Los Angeles Lakers, as the No. 3 seed, will take on either Dallas or Denver with the first game scheduled for Sunday. The fourth West pairing has the Los Angeles Clippers going to Memphis for Game 1 Sunday.

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