#SportsReport: NBA Season To Begin October 17

Aug 11, 2017

NBA:

The NBA has announced its earliest opening night in 37 years.

The league says the schedule will begin with the Cleveland Cavaliers taking on the Boston Celtics in an Eastern Conference finals rematch on Oct. 17. Also that night, the Golden State Warriors will begin their NBA title defense by hosting the Houston Rockets.

The five-game Christmas slate will include a finals rematch between the Warriors and Cavaliers.

The NBA moved up the start of the regular season in hopes of creating more opportunities for players to rest without doing so during games.

Police say veteran NBA star 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.

Police say the 36-year-old forward was taken into custody late Wednesday on suspicion of possession of marijuana with intent to sell. A second man was also arrested.

Randolph's agent and attorney says the charges are false and misleading.

MLB:

The New York Yankees will be 4 ½ games behind the Boston Red Sox when the two AL East contenders begin a three-game series Friday night in the Bronx.

The Yanks dropped another half-game back with a 4-0 loss at Toronto. Marco Estrada worked the first seven innings before two relievers completed the six-hit shutout.

The Blue Jays won with just five hits as Josh Donaldson and Kevin Pillar provided RBI singles before Jose Bautista's solo homer capped the scoring.

Losing pitcher Sonny Gray was reached for two earned runs and four hits over six innings to fall to 0-2 in two starts since joining the Yankees from Oakland. However, he owns a 3.00 ERA in those two games.

The Jays took two of three in the series, leaving New York seven games over .500.

Homers by Wilmer Flores, Michael Conforto, Curtis Granderson and Neil Walker highlighted the Mets' 10-0 laugher against the Phillies. Flores and Conforto each hit three-run shots to back Jacob deGrom, who is 13-5 after limiting the Phils to four hits while striking out nine over 6 2/3s. DeGrom left the game with a contusion on his right triceps after getting hit by a line drive.

Elsewhere in the majors:

— The Rays pulled out a 4-1 win over Cleveland on Corey Dickerson's three-run homer in the eighth. The Indians collected just four hits and were shut out following an RBI single by Jose Ramirez in the top of the first. The Indians have dropped four of their last five to cut their lead in the AL Central to 3 ½ games over Minnesota.

— The Twins vaulted over Kansas City in the AL Central standings by earning their fifth consecutive win, 7-2 at Milwaukee. Byron Buxton and Joe Mauer had three hits apiece and combined for three RBIs to help Minnesota complete a sweep of the home-and-home, four-game set with the Brewers. Zach Davies was tagged for seven runs and a career-high 11 hits over 5 2/3 innings as the Brewers dropped their fifth in a row to fall two games behind the NL Central-leading Cubs.

— The Cardinals completed a four-game season sweep of the Royals to pull within one game of the NL Central-leading Cubs. Dexter Fowler crushed a grand slam in the seventh inning to send St. Louis past Kansas City, 8-5. Fowler also supplied an RBI double that sparked a game-tying, three-run sixth in the Redbirds' sixth consecutive win.

— The Pirates are within three games of first place in the NL Central after Josh Bell slammed a two-run homer in the third inning and had three RBIs in a 7-5 victory over Detroit. Sean Rodriguez added a solo shot and an RBI single, while Adam Frazier was 3-for-5 with a two-run double. Gerrit Cole worked eight innings in his 10th win of the season, allowing three runs and six hits with seven strikeouts.

— Brian Goodwin's solo homer in the eighth inning pushed the Nationals past the Marlins, 3-2. Washington trailed 2-0 in the sixth until Goodwin hit an RBI single and scored on Bryce Harper's double. Giancarlo Stanton blasted his major league-leading 39th home run for the Marlins, who allowed the Nats to take a 15-game lead in the NL East.

— The Dodgers' lead in the NL West is up to 16 games over Colorado after Los Angeles outscored the Diamondbacks, 8-6. Enrique Hernandez put L.A. ahead for good with a three-run double in the top of the first. Chris Taylor homered and Justin Turner doubled home a pair to back Yu Darvish, struck out 10 over five innings and improved to 2-0 since joining the Dodgers.

— Yoan Moncada delivered the tying and winning hits as the White Sox rallied past the Astros, 3-2. Moncada extended the game with a ninth-inning homer and ended it with an RBI single. The Astros wasted Jake Marisnick's home run and lost for the ninth time in 12 games, leaving them with a 13-game lead in the AL West.

— The Angels blew a 3-0 lead in the eighth before Mike Trout's three-run double in the ninth lifted Los Angeles past the Mariners, 6-3. Jean Segura and Nelson Cruz homered against Bud Norris after Tyler Skaggs pitched shutout ball over 6 1/3 innings. The outcome puts the Mariners and Rays in a tie for the second AL wild-card berth, one game ahead of the Halos.

— Trey Mancini slammed two of the Orioles' four home runs in a 7-2 win at Oakland. Adam Jones chipped in with a solo shot and a two-run double, while Mark Trumbo added a solo blast. Wade Miley was terrific over seven innings, yielding only an unearned run and three hits with seven strikeouts.

— Padres reliever Brad Hand had tossed 24 consecutive scoreless innings until Scooter Gennett tagged him for a grand slam in the seventh to lead the Reds' 10-3 rout of San Diego. Gennett erased a 3-2 deficit before Eugenio Suarez went deep two pitches later. Zack Cozart and Joey Votto added homers in the eighth, with Votto's solo shot extending his hitting streak to a season-high 15 games.

PGA:

Quail Hollow wasn't very kind to the 155 competitors in the opening round of the PGA Championship.

Kevin Kisner and Thorbjorn Olesen share the lead after shooting 4-under 67s. It's the highest score to lead after the first round of the PGA Championship since Matt Kuchar shot 67 at Whistling Straits in 2010.

Fast, unforgiving putting surfaces were a major reason for the high scores.

Kisner birdied three of his final five holes, including a 20-footer on 18. Olesen finished with a 30-foot birdie.

Reigning U.S. Open champ Brooks Koepka is among five players at 3 under. Koepka missed a half-dozen putts from 12 feet or closer.

Americans Grayson Murray, Gary Woodland, Chris Stroud and D.A. Points also find themselves at minus-3. Rickie Fowler and Hideki Matsuyama are in a mix at 1 under.

Jordan Spieth opened with a 72 as the 24-year-old tries to become the youngest to win a career Grand Slam. Rory McIlroy also signed off on a 72.

Phil Mickelson struggled in his opening round, finishing with an 8-over 79 that puts him in danger of missing the cut at a PGA Championship for the first time since 1995. It was the worst round of his 25 appearances at the final major of the season.

NFL PRESEASON:

Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater need not rush back from injury after Case Keenum showed glimpses of being a capable backup in the Minnesota Vikings' 17-10 preseason-opening win over the Buffalo Bills on Thursday night.

Taking over for starter Sam Bradford, Keenum went 11-for-16 for 121 yards. The sixth-year player engineered a pair of scoring drives — both set up by passes to rookie receiver Stacy Coley.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL:

Duke men's basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski will have a total knee replacement surgery, leading the team to cancel this month's exhibition trip to the Dominican Republic.

The procedure will be performed on his right leg this weekend at the university hospital in Durham. Krzyzewski will be released within three days to begin a rehabilitation program at Duke.

It's the sixth surgery in 17 months for the 70-year-old coach, who has won a Division I men's-record 1,071 games to go with five NCAA championships.

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

A football fan who was arrested during a Minnesota Vikings game says he's focusing on his excessive-force lawsuit against police after being cleared of criminal charges.

Anastacio Lopez was charged after allegedly trying to grab an officer's stun gun while being escorted from the stadium on Dec. 1. He was acquitted Wednesday of attempting to disarm an officer.

Surveillance video obtained by St. Paul television station KSTP-TV shows two officers using their stun guns on Lopez and striking him with closed fists.

Lopez tells the station he was drinking at the game and doesn't remember much. His lawyer says the surveillance footage shows the officers' actions were excessive.

Lopez's federal civil rights lawsuit also names the city as a defendant.

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT DEATH:

A high school football player lifting a large log with teammates as part of a Navy SEALs-style drill was hit in the head by the log and died Thursday, raising questions about adapting such military training to young athletes.

Joshua Mileto, a 16-year-old Sachem East High School junior, and about five of his teammates were carrying the log overhead when the accident happened at a preseason exercise camp supervised by a half-dozen coaches, Suffolk County police said.

The 5-foot-6, 134-pound wide receiver and defensive back was declared dead later at a hospital.

Sachem East graduate Carlin Schledorn, who played football as a junior, said carrying the log -- about 12 feet long and the diameter of a utility pole -- was a "team building" exercise.

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