NBA schedule 2013: Heat-Pacers, Bulls-Nets highlight big night in East

Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports

The Heat visit the Pacers and the Bulls travel to Brooklyn to face the Nets in two battles of Eastern Conference powers.

It's a big night in the Eastern Conference, as the Indiana Pacers host the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets welcome in the Chicago Bulls on Friday. Those are four of the top five teams in the East, and the two games are part of a 12-game NBA slate on the evening.

The Heat (29-13) of course are on top of the East, 1½ games ahead of the New York Knicks. Miami is coming off one of their more impressive performances of the season on Wednesday, when they dominated Brooklyn 105-85 at the Barclays Center.

The Pacers (27-19) have scuffled a bit recently, losing three of four and currently sitting at fifth in the East. However, they did blow out the Detroit Pistons in their last outing and are 17-3 on their home floor. Indiana beat Miami 87-77 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Jan. 8.

Over in Brooklyn, the Bulls look to continue their strong play on the road. Despite being without Derrick Rose, Chicago is a league-best 13-6 on the road and 28-17 overall, just 2½ games behind Miami in the East.

The Nets (27-19) are fourth in the conference and will be looking to rebound from that beat-down at the hands of the Heat. The Bulls won a close first meeting at the United Center in December.

Here's the full NBA schedule for Friday via SI.com (all times Eastern):

Los Angeles Clippers at Toronto Raptors, 7 p.m.

Miami Heat at Indiana Pacers, 7 p.m.

Sacramento Kings at Philadelphia 76ers, 7:30 p.m.

Cleveland Cavaliers at Detroit Pistons, 7:30 p.m.

Chicago Bulls at Brooklyn Nets, 7:30 p.m.

Orlando Magic at Boston Celtics, 7:30 p.m.

Milwaukee Bucks at New York Knicks, 7:30 p.m.

Washington Wizards at Memphis Grizzlies 8 p.m.

New Orleans Hornets at Denver Nuggets, 9 p.m.

Dallas Mavericks at Phoenix Suns, 9 p.m.

Portland Trail Blazers at Utah Jazz, 9 p.m.

Los Angeles Lakers at Minnesota Timberwolves, 9:30 p.m.

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