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 NEW YORK (AP) - The Miami Heat will open their title defense against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 29 in the expected return of Derrick Rose, with an all-Los Angeles matchup later that night 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.
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.
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