Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum scores against Washington Wizards guard Bilal Coulibaly during the first half of an NBA game between the Boston Celtics and the Washington Wizards in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 09 February 2024. EPA/CJ GUNTHER SHUTTERSTOCK OUT

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The first live NBA game of the week arrives on the morning of Friday 1 March, as the Denver Nuggets play host to the Miami Heat in Colorado.

Denver star Nikola Jokic says he loves the pressure of being asked to pull a game from the fire with little time left on the clock – just as he did with a ‘triple-double’ in a recent clash against the Milwaukee Bucks.

“I mean, that’s why I play… to play these kinds of games, to play under the pressure, to play tight games,” Jokic explained. “I like to play under those circumstances.”

Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 March have successive games featuring the Boston Celtics: they take on the Dallas Mavericks on the morning of the former, before tackling the Golden State Warriors on the late evening of the latter – both at the iconic TD Garden in Massachusetts.

Boston coach Joe Mazzulla relishes the challenge of grinding out a close win for his team: “I just hope it happens 10, 12 more times so we can get rid of the entitlement that we’re always supposed to be winning. I hope we have to blow leads. I hope that all happens. I really do.”

He added, “Reps. Reps of how it’s gonna be [later in the season and potentially the playoffs]. Reps of how it should be.”

The midweek of Wednesday 6 and Thursday 7 March features a clash between the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers, as well as the Utah Jazz hosting the Chicago Bulls in Salt Lake City respectively.

Bulls star DeMar DeRozan says he loves not being ‘protected’ by having his minutes on the court limited: “I just always love hoopin’; I play all summer for free,’’ he explained. ‘‘When you’re playing for an organization and something is on the line, I want to play every single second, minute, opportunity I can. That’s why I pride myself on not missing games.”

He added, “But we’ve gotta lay it all out on the line every game. Every game is important, whether we’ve got a full team or limited guys. I don’t want to leave one minute untouched if it was up to me, just so we can win a game.”

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NBA broadcast details

Friday 1 March

05:00: Denver Nuggets v Miami Heat – LIVE on ESPN

Saturday 2 March

02:30: Boston Celtics v Dallas Mavericks – LIVE on ESPN 2

Sunday 3 March

22:30: Boston Celtics v Golden State Warriors – LIVE on ESPN

Wednesday 6 March

02:30: Brooklyn Nets v Philadelphia 76ers – LIVE on ESPN 2

Thursday 7 March

04:00: Utah Jazz v Chicago Bulls – LIVE on ESPN