Raptors to open season at home against Hawks on October 29

{eot} Staff
8/13/2014 10:46:44 PM
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The Toronto Raptors tip off its 20th anniversary season at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday, October 29 versus the Atlanta Hawks. Nine of the club's first 12 games will be at home followed by 14 of the next 22 on the road. After the All-Star break in mid-February, the Raptors will play 18 of their final 29 games on the road to finish the regular season.

The longest homestand of the season is seven games November 7-21, which equals the franchise high set in the 1999-2000 campaign. The longest road swing is six games which takes place from December 22-January 4.

Noteworthy home games include two visits from LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers on December 5 and March 4, along with Derrick Rose and his Chicago Bulls on November 13 and March 25. Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder are the season's second opponent at Air Canada Centre on November 4. Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Los Angeles Clippers come to Toronto on February 6 and the lone Toronto visit from Tim Duncan and the NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs happens two days later February 8. Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers make their only Toronto visit on March 27.

Should the pending Timberwolves-Cavaliers trade be completed, Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett will lead Minnesota into the Air Canada Centre on March 18.

Elsewhere, 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, 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.

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