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NBA releases 2013-14 schedule including opening night, Christmas Day matchups

An Oct. 29 season-opener featuring the Heat and Bulls should include Derrick Rose's return to action. (Getty Images) An Oct. 29 season-opener featuring the Heat and Bulls should include Derrick Rose's return to action. (Getty Images)

The NBA released its 2013-14 regular-season schedule Tuesday afternoon. Here are some highlights and nationally televised games to note:

The Pacers host the Magic in the opening game of the season.

Two-time defending Miami Heat will help tip-off the season by hosting the Bulls Oct. 29 on TNT. The meeting is expected to be Derrick Rose's return to the Bulls after missing the entire 2012-13 season with a torn ACL. One of the highlights of the Bulls' season was ending the Heat’s win streak at 27 games, the second-longest streak in NBA history. The Lakers and Clippers will meet in the second game of TNT's season-opening doubleheader.

Free-agent prize Dwight Howard will make his first regular-season appearance as a Rocket against the Bobcats, Oct. 30 in Houston.

The Heat's 27 national television appearances will also include a Christmas Day meeting at the Lakers spotlighting LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. Carmelo Anthony leads the Knicks against Kevin Durant and the Thunder earlier on Christmas Day. The Christmas Day schedule also includes the Bulls at the Nets, the Rockets at the Spurs, and the Clippers at the Warriors.

The Spurs will get a chance to avenge their NBA Finals loss to the Heat on Jan. 26 in Miami on ABC.

Here's a sample of initial reactions and analysis from NBA writers across the nation via Twitter:

https://twitter.com/JasonCFriedman/status/364871911538307073

https://twitter.com/JMcDonald_SAEN/status/364874832204144640

https://twitter.com/SpearsNBAYahoo/status/364876221802217473

https://twitter.com/IraHeatBeat/status/364874355966091264

https://twitter.com/DarnellMayberry/status/364873997957087232

https://twitter.com/Mike_Bresnahan/status/364872674620604416

https://twitter.com/AlexKennedyNBA/status/364876038569852929

https://twitter.com/JMcDonald_SAEN/status/364872952795250688

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