The NBA officially released its 2013-14 schedule on Tuesday. The league's 82-game slate will run from Oct. 29, 2013, to April 16, 2014.
The season opens with a bang: the two-time defending champion Heat will host the Bulls in Miami on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. ET. LeBron James and company are expected to welcome back Derrick Rose for his first game since he suffered a season-ending knee injury in April 2012.
Also on Oct. 29, the Magic will visit the Pacers at 7 p.m. ET before the Lakers and Clippers square off in the Staples Center at 10:30 p.m. ET. Lakers fans will hope that Kobe Bryant has recovered from a season-ending Achilles injury in time to take the court for the battle of L.A.
The NBA's annual Christmas Day quintuple-header will go down as follows: Bulls at Nets (12 p.m. ET), Thunder at Knicks (2:30 p.m. ET), Heat at Lakers (5 p.m. ET), Rockets at Spurs (8 p.m. ET), and Clippers at Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET).
The league will also have four nationally-televised game on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which is Jan. 20. Those games: Nets at Knicks (2:30 p.m. ET), Lakers at Bulls (8 p.m. ET), Pelicans at Grizzlies (8 p.m. ET) and Pacers at Warriors (10:30 p.m. ET).
Other schedule highlights include...
- The Rockets will host Dwight Howard's former team, the Lakers, on Nov. 7. Howard will play his first road game against the Lakers on Feb. 19.
- Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce will make their return to Boston with the Nets to face the Celtics on Jan. 26.
- The Heat and Spurs will play their 2013 finals rematches in Miami on Jan. 26 and in San Antonio on Mar. 6.
- James and Kevin Durant will face off when the Heat and Thunder play in Miami on Jan. 29 and in Oklahoma City on Feb. 20.
- This year, two regular-season games will be played outside of the United States and Canada. The Spurs and Timberwolves will play in Mexico City on Dec. 4, while the Nets and Hawks will play in London on Jan. 16.