WARRIORS TO HOST ROCKETS IN OPENER
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.
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.