NEW YORK – The Miami Heat will open its title defense against Chicago on Oct. 29 in the expected return of Bulls guard Derrick Rose, with an all-Los Angeles matchup later that night in the Lakers’ first game since center Dwight Howard left and the Clippers’ first with Doc Rivers as their coach.
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 of the Knicks and Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder match up across the country in New York.
Howard’s first visit to the Lakers since leaving for Houston as a free agent doesn’t come until Feb. 19, giving Bryant plenty of time to get back to full strength from his torn Achilles tendon near the end of last season.
The Indiana Pacers host the Orlando Magic in the opening game of the season, about the time the Heat is holding another championship-ring ceremony. Then Miami will try to give Rose a rough welcome back in what is likely to be his first NBA game since hurting his knee in the opening game of the 2012 playoffs.
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Most teams open Oct. 30. On Nov. 1, 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 Dec. 11 — one night after the Celtics see Garnett and Pierce for the first time in Brooklyn.
• The Heat will host San Antonio on Jan. 26 in their first meeting since Miami beat the Spurs in Game 7 of the NBA Finals.
• The marquee Christmas Day schedule has five games: Chicago at Brooklyn, Oklahoma City at New York, Miami at the Lakers, Houston at San Antonio and the Clippers at Golden State.
• Forward Michael Beasley, who vowed when he joined the Phoenix Suns a year ago his marijuana problems were in the past, has been arrested by Scottsdale, Ariz., police after they found what they believe to be marijuana in his car.
Beasley was arrested after a traffic stop, according to Officer David Pubins. An officer found three cigarettes suspected to contain marijuana in Beasley’s Mercedes after smelling marijuana during the stop, Pubins said.
Beasley, 24, was released after being cited for investigation of one felony count each of marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.