LeBron, Cavaliers open at home vs. Knicks Oct. 30, head to Miami on Christmas

BRIAN MAHONEY AP Basketball Writer Published:

NEW YORK -- LeBron James will play his first game since rejoining the Cleveland Cavaliers at home Oct. 30 against New York, then return to Miami for the first time on Christmas.

The NBA regular season will open Oct. 28, with the NBA champion San Antonio Spurs hosting the Dallas Mavericks in one of the three games that night.

The league released its schedule, featuring a lengthened All-Star break, on Wednesday night during an NBA TV special, with James' return to his original NBA team putting the Cavaliers in a number of prime positions.

That includes the game at Miami in the third spot on the five-game Christmas schedule, traditionally a highlight of the NBA season. James led the Heat to two championships and four NBA Finals appearances in four years before deciding to return to his native Ohio.

The other Christmas day games are: Washington at New York; Oklahoma City at San Antonio in a rematch of the Western Conference finals; the Los Angeles Lakers at Chicago; and Golden State at the Los Angeles Clippers.

Greg Oden faces October trial on battery charges

INDIANAPOLIS -- Former NBA No. 1 draft pick Greg Oden is free to leave Indiana while he awaits trial on charges he punched his ex-girlfriend in the face as long as he remains on GPS monitoring, a judge ruled Wednesday.

Marion County Superior Court Judge Steven Rubick entered a routine not guilty plea on behalf of Oden and scheduled the free agent center's trial for Oct. 22. Oden is charged with battery resulting in serious bodily injury and two misdemeanor battery counts.

The 7-foot-tall Oden, wearing a silvery sport coat, dark slacks and a white shirt with no tie, sat grimly at the defense table and answered the judge's questions with a soft "Yes, Your Honor."

Oden's attorney, James Bell, said in a statement after the brief hearing that the defense team would have no comment until the conclusion of the case.

The 26-year-old was arrested at his mother's Indianapolis home last Thursday and released from jail later that day.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed, police officers were called to the home at around 3:30 a.m. last Thursday and found a 24-year-old woman on a blood-spattered sofa with a swollen, bloody face. A friend of the woman told officers that Oden had "punched her in the face."

The report says the injured woman was uncooperative and told officers she had fallen, but was unable to say when and where that occurred.

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