- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The NBA begins another season with three matchups on opening night. Some highlights from around the courts:

RETURN OF THE KING: LeBron James scored 17 points, Shane Battier made all four of his 3-point tries, and the Miami Heat took control with 17 straight second-quarter points on the way to spoiling Derrick Rose’s return and beating the Chicago Bulls 107-95 on Tuesday night.

The Heat trailed 9-2 early, then outscored Chicago 52-24 over the remainder of the first half and finished with seven players in double figures. Miami also contained Derrick Rose, who was playing his first game since injuring his knee in April 2012. Rose finished with 12 points in 34 minutes. Carlos Boozer carried the Bulls, scoring 31 points and grabbing seven rebounds.


NO KOBE: The Lakers opened a season without Kobe Bryant on the floor for the first time since 2006.

Bryant is still recovering from surgery on his torn Achilles tendon last April. Coach Mike D'Antoni doesn’t know whether Kobe will be tweeting during games, as he did occasionally last year, but is confident he’s doing everything possible to return.

“We want to get him back as soon as we can, so he’s really concentrating on that,” D'Antoni said. “He talks to the guys on the side. He’ll take Nick (Young) to the side, and I’ll see him talking to different guys. He’ll be there. We touch base all the time, and I’ll get his opinion.”


DOC‘S DEBUT: Doc Rivers‘ first regular-season appearance on the Los Angeles Clippers‘ bench was a road game, only not really.

The Lakers were the designated home team at Staples Center on Tuesday night, and Rivers is still getting used to the quirk of sharing a building with a rival.

“I’ve never had one of these where the road game is where you play your home games,” Rivers said. “Actually it’s really cool, but it’s different.”


LET THE BANNERS FLY: Doc Rivers made preseason headlines when he directed the Clippers to cover up the Lakers’ championship banners with larger-than-life portraits of his players during Clippers home games.

Since the Lakers were the home team in Tuesday’s opener, the banners were hanging unobstructed on the Staples Center wall. Rivers took the opportunity to make it clear he meant no disrespect to the 16-time champions down the hallway.

“I didn’t do that because, `Man, I don’t like the Lakers,’” Rivers said. “That was no intent at all, and I’ve said that 100 times. That was about, `We’re the Clippers, and when we play in our arena, it should be our arena.’ It’s just like thousands of other arenas around the country where two teams share.”

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