Heat-Bulls, Lakers-Clippers on league's opening night
The Miami Heat will open their title defense against the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 29 in the expected return of Derrick Rose, with an all-Los Angeles matchup later that night in the Lakers' first game without Dwight Howard and the Clippers' first with Doc Rivers.
The NBA's 2013-14 schedule, released Tuesday, also features a potential LeBron James-Kobe Bryant duel on Christmas in Los Angeles, right after scoring stars Carmelo Anthony and Kevin Durant match up across the country in New York.
Howard's first visit to the Lakers since leaving for Houston as a free agent doesn't come until Feb. 19, giving Bryant plenty of time to get back to full strength from his torn Achilles' tendon near the end of last season.
Most teams open on Oct. 30.
The marquee Christmas Day schedule features five games: Chicago at Brooklyn, Oklahoma City at New York, Miami at the Lakers, Houston at San Antonio, and the Clippers at Golden State.
Bucks coach says Knight his point guard
■ The Milwaukee Bucks held an introductory news conference for former Kentucky star Brandon Knight on Tuesday. Some analysts have pegged the 6-foot-3 Knight as more of a shooting guard, but he and Coach Larry Drew made it clear Tuesday: He will handle the ball for Milwaukee.
"I'm a point guard, there's no question in my mind," Knight said.
"What he brings to the table is what a coach looks for at that position, the speed, the quickness," Drew said. "The ability to make shots, the ability to get to the lane. The ability to make other people better. I don't know where this, 'Is he a point guard, is he a shooting guard?' came from. He's always, in my eyes, been a point guard. A point guard that has the ability to score, and that's a big, big luxury."
Blackwelder gets 2nd shot at 'Big Break'
Former University of Kentucky golfer Mallory Blackwelder is getting a second chance at the Golf Channel's Big Break and this time she'll have NFL legend Tim Brown on her team.
Twelve previous Big Break competitors get a shot at playing in a PGA or LPGA event, and the NFL legends will be playing for $50,000 to go to their designated charity on the 20th edition of the television show. This season, which will premiere on Tuesday, Oct. 9, takes place in Puerto Rico.
Blackwelder, who competes on the Symetra Tour, finished third in her previous appearance on the show in 2011.
"Big Break Ireland was one of the greatest experiences in my life," she said. "We joke all of the time how I have unfinished business on Big Break. And then I got the call for the reunion show. Everything happens for a reason."
In addition to Brown, Blackwelder will be teamed with Will Lowery, who was on the show in 2010. Other former NFL stars participating are Jerry Rice, Marc Bulger, Al Del Greco, Chris Doleman and Mark Rypien.
■ Emma Talley, a Caldwell County graduate who plays for Alabama, tied for second at 2-under par (140) through two rounds of stroke play and advanced to match play in the U.S. Women's Amateur Championship at the Country Club of Charleston in South Carolina. Yumi Matsubara of Japan earned medalist honors by shooting a 7-under 135. Talley will play Lydia Choi of Beverly Hills, Calif., who shot an 8-over 150.
■ Matthew Mahle, a Lexington Catholic graduate who signed to play at the College of Charleston, tied for third place at 1-under par through two rounds of the Big I National Championship in Pinehurst, N.C. Mahle trails leader Sam Stevens of Kansas by three shots in the four-round amateur event.
St. Xavier senior-to-be Brendon Doyle was tied for 14th and seven shots off the lead at 3-over par. Tates Creek graduate Chandler Morgan, who signed to play at Akron, missed the cut at 14 over.
In the girls' division, Shelby County junior-to-be Madison Thomas made it just inside the cut line at 14-over par. She trails leader Bailey Tardy of Georgia, who is at 4 under through two rounds. Scott County senior-to-be Ayla Rhinesmith (+21) missed the cut.
Ex-Kentucky Thoroughblade Burr dies
Shawn Burr, who helped the Kentucky Thoroughblades to the second round of the American Hockey League playoffs in 1999, died Monday. Mr. Burr, 47, died of massive brain trauma after falling down a staircase at his home in St. Clair, Mich.
Mr. Burr helped the Thoroughblades to the Mid-Atlantic Division playoffs in the 1998-99 season, scoring 24 points in 26 regular-season games and 13 points in 12 playoff games.
He played 11 NHL seasons for Detroit, three for Tampa Bay and two for San Jose, got to one Stanley Cup finals, played in 91 playoff games, had 181 goals, 259 assists and more than 1,000 penalty minutes.
He is survived by his wife, Amanda, and two daughters.
The last word
Tiger Woods had a tender moment after destroying the competition at the Bridgestone Invitational. His 4-year-old son, Charlie, was in the gallery and Woods scooped him into his arms when he walked off the 18th green at Firestone. Whether his son follows in his footsteps remains to be seen, though Woods said he would not push him or his daughter, Sam, in that direction:
"If they play golf, no lessons. We are just going to go out there and just have fun, hit it around, laugh and needle each other. He's only 4 years old, but he still gives me a little bit of grief, which is good stuff."