WAR­RIORS TO HOST ROCK­ETS IN OPENER

The Denver Post - - SPORTS - — The As­so­ci­ated Press

YORK» The Golden State War­riors NEW will open their ti­tle de­fense by host­ing Hous­ton in Chris Paul’s Rock­ets de­but on Oct. 17, the NBA’s ear­li­est open­ing night in 37 years.

Cleve­land and Bos­ton will play an East­ern Con­fer­ence fi­nals re­match ear­lier that night to be­gin the 2017-18 sea­son, the league an­nounced Thurs­day.

The War­riors and Cava­liers will play an NBA Fi­nals re­match on Christ­mas, the mar­quee game of the five-game hol­i­day sched­ule.

The other Christ­mas games are Philadel­phia, play­ing on Dec. 25 for the first time since 2001, at New York; Wash­ing­ton at Bos­ton in the Celtics’ first Christ­mas home game ever; Hous­ton at Ok­la­homa City; and Min­nesota at the Lak­ers and No. 2 draft pick Lonzo Ball in the night­cap.

The NBA moved up the start of its 72nd reg­u­lar sea­son in hopes of cre­at­ing more op­por­tu­ni­ties for play­ers to rest with­out do­ing so dur­ing games. The Oct. 17 opener will be the league’s ear­li­est since the 1980-81 sea­son be­gan Oct. 10.

The com­plete NBA sched­ule is be­ing fi­nal­ized and will be an­nounced next week.

• Sacra­mento Kings for­ward Zach Ran­dolph was ar­rested on a mar­i­juana charge af­ter sev­eral po­lice cars were van­dal­ized when a large gath­er­ing be­came un­ruly at a Los An­ge­les hous­ing project, au­thor­i­ties said.

Ran­dolph, 36, was taken into cus­tody Wed­nes­day night on sus­pi­cion of pos­sess­ing mar­i­juana with in­tent to sell, ac­cord­ing to Los An­ge­les Po­lice Depart­ment Of­fi­cer Norma Eisen­man.

“The charges are false and mis­lead­ing,” Ran­dolph’s agent and at­tor­ney, Ray­mond Broth­ers, told The As­so­ci­ated Press on Thurs­day.

Guliyev pulls off shock­ing win.

LON­DON» Ramil Guliyev of Turkey posted the up­set of the world cham­pi­onships of track and field when he matched Wayde Van Niek­erk stride for stride and won the 200-me­ter ti­tle by lung­ing at the fin­ish line just ahead of the fa­vored South African. Jereem Richards of Trinidad and Tobago took bronze.

Guliyev, 27, a lit­tle-known sprinter, was not even among the top-10 per­form­ers this year be­fore he stunned his ri­vals and the sell­out crowd of 60,000 at Olympic Sta­dium.

Guliyev fin­ished in 20.09 sec­onds, 0.02 of a sec­ond ahead of both Van Niek­erk and Richards. The South African took sil­ver by 0.001.

As shock­ing as the 200 turned out to be, the triple jump was pre­dictable — an­other great fight be­tween Amer­i­can team­mates Chris­tian Tay­lor and Will Claye. As usual, Tay­lor came out on top. The two-time Olympic cham­pion won with a leap of 17.68 me­ters. Claye, the run­ner-up be­hind Tay­lor at the last two Olympics, was 5 cen­time­ters be­hind for sil­ver.

On an­other good day for the U.S. team, the Amer­i­cans also got a 1-2 fin­ish in the women’s 400 hur­dles, with Kori Carter win­ning in 53.07 sec­onds. That was 0.43 of a sec­ond bet­ter than Dalilah Muham­mad.

Foot­notes.

Colorado foot­ball and men’s bas­ket­ball play-by-play an­nouncer Mark John­son joined the ath­letic depart­ment full time as di­rec­tor of au­dio broad­cast­ing, CU ath­letic di­rec­tor Rick Ge­orge an­nounced. John­son will con­tinue to do the broad­casts. … Duke men’s bas­ket­ball coach Mike Krzyzewski will have a to­tal knee re­place­ment surgery, caus­ing the team to can­cel its ex­hi­bi­tion trip to the Do­mini­can Re­pub­lic. … Nebraska lost fresh­man wide re­ceiver Jaevon McQuitty, the toprated high school foot­ball player in Mis­souri last year, to a sea­son-end­ing knee in­jury. … Joshua Mileto, 16, a Sachem East High School (Farmingville, N.Y.) foot­ball player, died while per­form­ing a drill used by U.S. Navy SEALs for con­di­tion­ing when the log he and team­mates were car­ry­ing fa­tally struck him in the head, po­lice said. … The con­tract of Cen­tral Florida men’s bas­ket­ball coach Johnny Dawkins, a former Duke star, was ex­tended by one sea­son through 2023. The ex­ten­sion will add $1.5 mil­lion to his cur­rent con­tract.

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