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NBA notebook: Paul to make Rockets debut against Warriors

The highly anticipated debuts of Chris Paul with the Houston Rockets and Gordon Hayward with the Boston Celtics will highlight the opening night of the NBA season, the league announced Thursday.

Paul and the Rockets will visit the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday Oct. 17 as the second part of a doubleheader on TNT.

In the opener, Hayward and the Celtics will visit the Cleveland Cavaliers in a rematch of last season's Eastern Conference finals.

The NBA also announced its five Christmas Day matchups with an NBA Finals rematch between the Cavaliers and host Warriors on ABC (3 p.m. ET) representing the marquee contest.

MVP Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma City Thunder and MVP runner-up James Harden of the Rockets will square off on ABC (8 p.m. ET) on the Thunder's homecourt. The other contest on ABC will feature the Washington Wizards visiting the Celtics at 5:30 p.m. ET.

--The Philadelphia 76ers and Boston Celtics will pack their bags and head across the pond to play a regular-season game at the O2 Arena in London on Jan. 11, the NBA announced.

The contest will be the league's eighth regular-season contest in London.

--When NBA owners meet in September, they are expected to approve rules designed to discourage teams from benching healthy players for regular-season games, USA Today reported.

The rules will be in effect at the start of the 2017-18 season, and teams will be penalized for not abiding by them.

The specifics of the rules and the consequences remain unknown at this point, however. Enforcing any rules regarding the resting of a healthy player may be difficult to do, starting with the problem of determining whether the player is actually healthy.

Earlier this week, the league office announced scheduling improvements designed to provide more rest for players.

--Sacramento Kings forward Zach Randolph was arrested on a felony charge of marijuana possession with intent to sell by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department on Wednesday night.

The arrest was part of a disturbance that resulted in damage to five Los Angeles Police Department vehicles and one sheriff's vehicle, according to ABC-7 in Los Angeles.

Officers reportedly encountered a group drinking alcohol, smoking marijuana and playing loud music while blocking the street in the Nickerson Gardens area in Los Angeles. The disturbance escalated with Randolph being arrested at 11 p.m. PT and booked 5 1/2 hours later with bail being set for $20,000, according to police reports.

A two-time All-Star, Randolph signed a two-year, $24 million contract with the Kings this summer after ending his eight-year tenure with the Memphis Grizzlies.

--Oklahoma City Thunder forward Patrick Patterson underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, the team announced.

Patterson, who will be re-evaluated in four to six weeks, is expected to start at power forward for Oklahoma City after agreeing to a three-year, $16.4 million contract in July.

--The Milwaukee Bucks signed a jersey advertisement patch deal with Harley-Davidson, the team announced.

The motorcycle manufacturer's iconic orange, white and black logo will appear on the Bucks' white, green and black jerseys. Harley-Davidson was founded in Milwaukee.

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