Miami Heat

Report has Heat playing Nets in Mexico in December

The Miami Heat will be heading south of the border this season, with a Dec. 9 game in Mexico City against the Brooklyn Nets, according to a Twitter post by a Mexican journalist.

According to the post, which features an NBA graphic, the Heat will play the Nets in Mexico City two nights after the Nets host the Oklahoma City, with both games counting against Brooklyn’s home schedule.

A party familiar with the schedule confirmed that the Heat were in the mix for the games in Mexico City.

The Heat have played several international exhibitions over their previous 29 seasons, with this their first international regular-season game.

The NBA is expected to announce its international regular-season games later this week, with the full 2017-18 regular-season schedule expected to be released next week.

The NBA regular season has been moved up this season to better space the games, with the season opener to be on Oct. 17.

“That extra week will allow for some additional travel during the season, some extra rest when teams are traveling, so we hope to use those additional days to produce more games outside the U.S.,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said during last season’s NBA visit to Mexico City. “And, as I said, there is no market more important to us than Mexico.”

The Suns hosted the San Antonio Spurs and Dallas Mavericks last season, with each game drawing in excess of 20,000. It was the first year the NBA played two regular-season games in Mexico.

The NBA’s previous appearances in Mexico have included community events and NBA Cares functions.

Including the preseason, the NBA has staged 24 games in Mexico since 1992, the most NBA games held in any country outside the United States and Canada. The league has worked toward developing basketball at the grassroots level in Mexico through programs such as Liga Telmex NBA, Jr. NBA and NBA3X.

Countries where the Heat have played preseason games include the Dominican Republic, Israel, France, England, China, Brazil, the Bahamas, as well as Puerto Rico.

iwinderman@sunsentinel.com. Follow him at twitter.com/iraheatbeat or facebook.com/ira.winderman

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