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Miami Heat to face Charlotte Bobcats in NBA preseason game at Sprint Center

Updated: 2013-04-23T19:57:17Z

By BLAIR KERKHOFF

The Kansas City Star

The Miami Heat are Kansas City’s team, at least in the preseason.

On Tuesday, the Sprint Center announced it will play host to another NBA preseason game, and for the fifth time in six years, the Heat are scheduled to appear. The Charlotte Bobcats are the Heat’s opponent for the Oct. 11 game.

While the Heat finished 66-16 and are the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, the Bobcats went 21-61 in Mike Dunlap’s first season. He was fired Tuesday.

Kansas City got the Heat even before LeBron James and Chris Bosh showed up in Miami. Former Kansas State star Michael Beasley was the attraction, along with former Kansas guard Mario Chalmers, in the Heat’s 2009 preseason game against the New Orleans Hornets.

In 2010, the Heat played the Oklahoma City Thunder. Last year, Miami faced the Washington Wizards.

The 2011 preseason game between the Heat and Houston Rockets was scrapped because of NBA labor unrest.

The first NBA game at Sprint Center happened in 2008, when Portland met Atlanta.

Sprint Center has also been the site of NHL preseason games, although last year’s Rangers-Avalanche contest didn’t happen because of a strike.

The preseason NBA and NHL games at Sprint Center typically have been big draws. That hasn’t helped Kansas City land a NBA or NHL team, but building officials have said not having a sports tenant has helped with flexibility of dates for other events.

Tickets for the Heat-Bobcats will on sale at 10 a.m. Monday at sprintcenter.com, the Sprint Center Box Office and by phone at 888-929-7849.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/BlairKerkhoff.

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