World champion Miami Heat to open season against Chicago Bulls

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NEW YORK — The Miami Heat will open their title defense against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 29 in the expected return of Derrick Rose.

LeBron James (right) and Miami will open Oct. 29 against Chicago in the expected return of Derrick Rose (left).  FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
FILE/ASSOCIATED PRESS
LeBron James (right) and Miami will open Oct. 29 against Chicago in the expected return of Derrick Rose (left).

Later that night, there will bean all-Los Angeles matchup in the Lakers’ first game without Dwight Howard and the Clippers’ first with Doc Rivers.

The NBA’s 2013-14 schedule, released Tuesday, also features a potential LeBron James-Kobe Bryant duel on Christmas in Los Angeles, right after scoring stars Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant match up across the country in New York.

The Indiana Pacers play host the Orlando Magic in the opening game of the season, about the time the Heat are holding another championship ring ceremony. Then Miami will try to give Rose a rough welcome back in what’s likely to be his first NBA game since tearing his knee in the opening game of the 2012 playoffs.

The Atlanta Hawks open Oct. 30 at Dallas, followed by a home game Nov. 1 against Toronto.

After that, beginning Nov. 3, Atlanta embarks on a three-game road trip out west, starting with a game against the Lakers.

Most teams open Oct. 30. Two nights later, the Heat will serve as the opponent for the new-look Brooklyn Nets’ first home game since acquiring Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce from Boston.

That duo, which helped lead the Celtics to the 2008 NBA championship, will make its emotional return to Boston on Jan. 26. Rivers will coach his first game back there on Dec. 11 – one night after the Celtics see Garnett and Pierce for the first time in Brooklyn. Rivers will then renew acquaintances with his two star players on Dec. 12 at Barclays Center.

Other highlights of the schedule include:

• The Heat will play host to the Spurs on Jan. 26 in their first meeting since they edged San Antonio in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. The teams also meet in Texas on March 6.

• The marquee Christmas Day schedule features five games: Chicago at Brooklyn, Oklahoma City at New York, Miami at the Lakers, Houston at San Antonio, and the Clippers at Golden State.


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