Orlando

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Milwaukee Bucks
Mar 17, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Philadelphia 76ers center Joel Embiid (21) drives for the basket against Milwaukee Bucks center Brook Lopez (11) during the fourth quarter at Fiserv Forum. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

March 18, 2019

Joel Embiid scored 40 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the visiting Philadelphia 76ers past the Milwaukee Bucks 130-125 on Sunday.

It was Embiid’s 52nd double-double and the 25th time he has scored at least 30 points and swept 10 rebounds in a game. He scored 18 points alone in the fourth quarter.

Jimmy Butler had 27 and JJ Redick 19 for the Sixers, who won their fourth in a row and officially clinched a playoff spot.

Giannis Antetokounmpo was terrific for the Bucks with a career-high 52 points to go along with 16 rebounds and seven assists. Khris Middleton added 19 points.

Rockets 117, Timberwolves 102

Chris Paul, Clint Capela and James Harden recorded double-doubles, and host Houston turned a blistering third-quarter shooting display into a victory over Minnesota.

Paul paired 25 points with 10 assists and matched his single-game high of six 3-pointers, while Capela recorded 20 points and 13 rebounds in grappling with Timberwolves All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns (22 points, 10 rebounds, six assists).

Rookie forward Josh Okogie scored 21 points for the Timberwolves, who have dropped 7 of 10. Taj Gibson chipped in 15 points and 10 rebounds off the bench for Minnesota. Houston improved to 11-2 since the All-Star break.

Clippers 119, Nets 116

Reserve Lou Williams hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer as host Los Angeles pulled out a dramatic win over Brooklyn for its seven win in its last eight games.

Williams, whose game winner was the first of his career, scored 11 of his team-high 25 points in a fourth quarter that featured wild runs by both teams. The Clippers (41-30) won for the seventh time in eight games and moved into a virtual tie with Utah for seventh in the West and a half-game behind sixth-place San Antonio.

Danilo Gallinari and Montrezl Harrell added 20 points apiece for the Clippers. D’Angelo Russell scored a game-high 32 points, but the Nets (36-36) fell 1 1/2 games behind sixth-place Detroit in the Eastern Conference and lead eighth-place Miami by just 1 1/2 games.

Pistons 110, Raptors 107

Blake Griffin scored 25 points to lead host Detroit past Toronto to sweep their three-game regular-season series.

Trailing 110-107 with 2.4 seconds left, Toronto had a glimmer of hope after Griffin missed two free throws. Griffin intentionally fouled Toronto’s Kawhi Leonard on the rebound with 1.4 seconds remaining, but Leonard missed the first throw. After Leonard intentionally missed the second, Pistons center Andre Drummond gathered the rebound and the clock ran out.

Reggie Jackson scored 20 points for the Pistons, and Drummond added 15 points and 17 rebounds. Leonard put up a game-high 33 points to go with 10 rebounds, while Fred VanVleet scored 17 points and Marc Gasol grabbed 11 rebounds.

Knicks 124, Lakers 123

Emmanuel Mudiay highlighted his 28-point performance with a pair of late free throws as NBA-worst New York erased an 11-point deficit late in the fourth quarter to knock off visiting Los Angeles.

Damyean Dotson scored 25 points and Kevin Knox chipped in 19 for the Knicks, who benefited from a season-high 41-point first quarter to post their first win since a 108-103 victory against Orlando on Feb. 26.

LeBron James scored 33 points after sitting out Friday’s 111-97 setback versus Detroit for what the team called “load management” connected to the groin injury that sidelined him for 17 games earlier this season.

Magic 101, Hawks 91

Nikola Vucevic scored 17 of his 27 points in the first quarter, and host Orlando remained in the chase for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference by beating Atlanta.

The Magic (33-38) trail Miami (33-36) by one game for the eighth spot in the playoffs. They meet one last time this season in Miami on March 26.

Orlando also got 22 points and eight rebounds from Aaron Gordon and 14 points and seven rebounds from reserve Wes Iwundu. Trae Young led Atlanta with 20 points and five assists.

Kings 129, Bulls 102

Buddy Hield made his only 3-pointers of the game in a 14-point, second-quarter flurry that allowed host Sacramento to beat Chicago and end a three-game losing streak.

The Kings (34-35) retained a slim hope of reaching the Western Conference playoffs this season. Sacramento sits in ninth place in the West, six games behind the Jazz and Clippers, who are tied for seventh.

In just his third game back from a knee injury, Marvin Bagley III shot 9 of 14 and led Sacramento with 21 points and nine rebounds in 21 minutes. Zach LaVine (18 points) was the top scorer for the Bulls.

Heat 93, Hornets 75

Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic came off the bench to combine for 22 points in the fourth quarter to boost host Miami to a win over Charlotte.

Dragic finished with a team-high 19 points and Wade added 17. Bam Adebayo had 16 points and nine rebounds, and Dion Waiters added 12 points for the Heat, who have won eight of their past 10 against Charlotte.

Jeremy Lamb scored a game-best 21, Frank Kaminsky had 13, Nicolas Batum added 12 and Tony Parker chipped in 11, while leading scorer Kemba Walker had just 10 for Charlotte, which is 2-5 in its last seven games.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Johnny Manziel is back in pro football, and it didn’t take long for the internet to react.

Manziel signed with the Memphis Express in the Alliance of American Football late Saturday night. That’s right, while you were all off drinking beer, the Texas A&M legend was getting back into the game. (RELATED: Johnny Manziel Signs With The Memphis Express In The AAF)

As pointed out by Darren Rovell, it quickly became the top trending moment in America.

Below are some of the rapid reactions people had to Johnny Football finding himself on a new team. (RELATED: Johnny Manziel Shows Off Arm Strength Amid Uncertain Football Future)

I have no idea what to expect out of Manziel in Memphis. He’s obviously the biggest name in the league, and should draw plenty of eyeballs.

The only question is how long will it take before he hits the field. There are only four games left in the season, and that’s not exactly a ton of time to learn an entirely new offense.

What I do know for sure is that people are interested, and that’s good news for the people running the AAF.

Let’s be realistic and assume he doesn’t play next week, but takes his first snap March 30 against Orlando. If that’s the case, I have no doubt plenty of people will be interested.

For the full list of remaining Express games and the team’s TV schedule, you can find that all here. The AAF just became must-watch viewing for fans around the country.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

MLS: Montreal Impact at Orlando City SC
Mar 16, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Montreal Impact midfielder Ignacio Piatti (10) celebrates a goal against Orlando City in the first half at Orlando City Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Stamey-USA TODAY Sports

March 16, 2019

Ignacio Piatti scored twice to lead the visiting Montreal Impact to a 3-1 victory over Orlando City SC on Saturday.

Piatti, who already has three goals this season for Montreal (2-1-0, 6 points), has 10 in 10 career MLS matches against Orlando City. His first goal of the day came as the Impact scored twice in roughly 90 seconds in the first half.

Orji Okwonkwo recorded his first MLS goal in the 14th minute with a cross-body effort to open the scoring. Just one minute later, Piatti increased Montreal’s advantage with a score off a careless back-pass to Orlando City keeper Brian Rowe that was broken up by teammate Max Urruti, thus leaving an empty net.

Piatti put things out of reach in the 80th minute, when he scored on a counter strike off a Orlando City miss. The Impact, amid their season-opening, six-game road stretch, have won four in a row over Orlando City (0-1-2) — which has now gone winless in its first three matches for a second consecutive season.

Though the Impact held an 11-2 advantage in shots on target, Orlando City had its chances while Rowe kept things from getting out of hand.

In the seventh minute, Dom Dwyer went well high of the goal from the center of the box. Impact keeper Evan Bush then made a straight-on save off a direct header from Dwyer in the 35th minute.

Play remained relatively wide open in the second half and even got chippy at times. Players from both squads got into a shoving match in the 56th minute following a questionable foul by Orlando City’s Danilo Acosta.

Dwyer, who missed over the bar during a one-on-one with Bush on 58 minutes, finally broke through in the first minute of second-half stoppage time on a feed from Santiago Patino.

Montreal defender Zakaria Diallo drew a red card for a push to the head as things again got heated between the sides near the conclusion of the match.

Orlando City midfielder Will Johnson came off in the 16th minute and was reportedly placed into concussion protocol.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLS: Atlanta United FC at Orlando City SC
Aug 24, 2018; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando City defender Jonathan Spector (2) kicks under Atlanta United defender Jeff Larentowicz (18) during the first half at Orlando City Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

March 16, 2019

Former Orlando City defender Jonathan Spector is moving overseas, signing a short-term deal for the remainder of the current season with Hibernian, the Scottish Premier League team announced.

Spector, 33, was available after Orlando City declined his contract option for this season. The Chicago-area native played the past two seasons with the Lions, moving into the captain role last season.

“I understand the expectations of the manager and I was able to get a feel for the club having gone to a couple of the home matches,” Spector said, according to the team website. “I’m certainly ready to get going to help the team and the club in whatever way I can.”

Spector is expected to join Hibernian after the upcoming international break.

“Jonathan offers experience, quality and versatility in an area where we haven’t had much cover recently,” Hibernian head coach Paul Heckingbottom said. “He’s made a great impression on everyone since he arrived and it’s easy to see why he’s had the career he’s had.”

Spector not only has played in 36 games with the United States Men’s National Team, he has also played in England for Manchester United, Charlton, West Ham and Birmingham.

Spector played 38 games for Orlando City over the past two seasons, scoring one goal with two assists.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

MLS: Sporting Kansas City at Los Angeles FC
Mar 3, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; LAFC players pose for a team photo before the game against the Sporting KC at Banc of California Stadium. LAFC defeated SKC 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

March 16, 2019

Los Angeles FC made an impressive MLS debut last season when it boasted one of the league’s most productive offenses.

After finishing second in the MLS with 68 goals last season, LAFC is off to a strong start two weeks in.

LAFC will attempt to keep the offense rolling Sunday afternoon when it visits NYCFC, which is coming off two frustrating draws.

LAFC’s six goals entering the third week of the week are tied with the Seattle Sounders and Minnesota United for the league lead. Forward Adama Diomande is among 11 players with two goals and fellow forward Carlos Vela is among six players with two assists entering this week.

Both players figured prominently last Sunday when LAFC scored three times after halftime in a 4-1 home win over Portland. Diomande scored in the 65th minute while Vela had two assists and scored in the 68th minute.

“I think we’re just all bought in,” forward Christian Ramirez said. “We’re just growing from what we had last year and we’re continuing to believe in the style of soccer that (coach) Bob (Bradley) wants us to play and that we’re capable of playing.”

NYCFC is winless through two games for the second time in its five-year history after a frustrating 0-0 draw with DC United last Sunday in its home opener. The one point NYCFC picked up occurred after it opened the season by allowing two goals in the second half and settling for a 2-2 draw at Orlando City in the season opener on March 3.

Last week, NYCFC could not score despite totaling 21 shots and controlling possession for 63 percent of the match.

“We have to make build up, we have to improve when we have the ball. In my opinion, we play much better when we keep the ball and pass the ball,” NYCFC coach Dome Torrent said. “I like to take possession of the ball but with the mentality to score. When you pass the ball in the right moment – you have to attack. That’s for me, the best way to play soccer.”

NYCFC has 34 shots through its first two games with 12 by newcomer Alexandru Mitrita.

Sunday will be the second meeting between the clubs. In a 2-2 tie in Los Angeles on May 13, Vela gave LAFC a one-goal lead in the 65th minute but Ismael Tajouri-Shradi came off the bench and scored the tying goal in the 75th minute.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: A Southwest Airlines Co. Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft taxis at Midway International Airport in Chicago
FILE PHOTO: A Southwest Airlines Co. Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft taxis after landing at Midway International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S., March 13, 2019. REUTERS/Kamil Kraczynski

March 15, 2019

By Conor Humphries, Jamie Freed and Allison Lampert

DUBLIN/SINGAPORE/MONTREAL (Reuters) – The grounding of Boeing’s global 737 MAX fleet has brought headaches for airlines that need to find alternative aircraft to fly in their place, but it has given some carriers a welcome opportunity to re-evaluate orders for the plane.

Countries and airlines around the world banned the 737 MAX this week after a deadly Ethiopian Airlines plane crash killed all 157 people on board. The disaster followed a fatal crash of the same model operated by Lion Air in Indonesia in October.

For airlines that over-ordered the latest version of Boeing’s 737 workhorse, the grounding could be a good excuse to delay or cancel purchases, saving cash on the balance sheet, analysts said.

“These unfortunate developments could give airlines that have potentially over-ordered an opportunity to review their requirements and fleet strategy,” CAPA Centre for Aviation Chief Analyst Brendan Sobie said.

Many airlines have had to quickly find other aircraft to substitute for the grounded 737 MAX, which has also complicated plans by airlines to use the fuel-efficient, longer-range jet to serve new destinations.

Southwest Airlines Co, the world’s largest operator of the MAX, was planning to fly the jet on its new California-Hawaii route later this year, while Gol Linhas Aereas Inteligentes inaugurated flights from Brazil to Orlando and Miami in November after receiving its first 737 MAX planes.

Normally there are financial penalties for airlines that cancel orders and for manufacturers that do not deliver according to the contract terms. It was unclear how much legal leverage the MAX grounding might give airlines to wiggle out of commitments or seek damages for costs and lost revenue.

Among airlines that may regret ordering too many 737 MAX, Sobie cited Vietnam’s VietJet Aviation JSC, which he said had based a decision to expand from an all-Airbus A320 fleet by adding 200 737 MAX jets on a flawed strategy of opening joint ventures in overseas markets.

VietJet said it was closely monitoring developments and would make a decision about its order once more is known.

Among other Asian airlines, financially troubled Malaysia Airlines said on Friday that its order for 25 737 MAX jets was under review. Garuda Indonesia said this week it might cancel its order for 20 737 MAXs, which it had already reduced from 49 before the crash.

Lion Air, one of Boeing’s top three MAX customers in terms of total orders, had already thrown into question 187 unfilled orders after its October crash. It told Reuters on Wednesday it would halt all planned 737 MAX deliveries until after a final report into its crash is released later this year.

In Europe, analysts said there was a case for and against cash-strapped Norwegian Air cancelling MAX orders: The ban would offer a reprieve from debt commitments but could leave the airline at the back of a congested Airbus order queue or increase operating costs if flights were replaced with less fuel-efficient jets.

Loss-making Norwegian already said in February it was postponing delivery of 12 MAX aircraft from 2020 to 2023 and 2024 to cut expenditure and shift its focus from expansion to profitability, and this week became the first major airline to publicly say it will seek compensation from Boeing over the MAX grounding.

A Norwegian Air spokesman declined to comment on Friday on whether it was discussing delaying or cancelling altogether MAX 8 orders, saying it was in dialogue with Boeing about a range of topics but had nothing new to share.

FLEET PAIN

For many large carriers like American Airlines Group Inc and China Southern Airlines Co Ltd, the 737 MAX a tiny proportion of the total fleet.

But smaller airlines Iceland Air, Poland’s LOT and Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA had planned to use 737 MAX jets to cover 25 percent, 17 percent and 11 percent of their summer schedules respectively, Goodbody analyst Mark Simpson said, giving them a higher exposure to the grounding.

“This is going to impact on their operations and cash flow,” he said. “Particularly into the Easter peak season next month and potentially through the summer as well… People will be scrambling for spare aircraft and there are not many, so lease rates will rise.”

Meanwhile, Air Canada on Friday became the first major airline to publicly attach dollars and cents to the uncertainty surrounding the 737 MAX, saying it was suspending its 2019 financial forecasts.

One silver lining for the airlines: Reduced seat capacity may allow them to hike passenger fares, analysts said.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries in Dublin, Jamie Freed in Singapore, Allison Lampert in Montreal and Gwladys Fouche in Oslo; additional reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Chicago, Marcelo Rochabrun in Sao Paolo, Cindy Silivana in Jakarta and Liz Lee in Kuala Lumpur; writing by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Cynthia Osterman)

Source: OANN

David Hookstead | Reporter

Clemson’s football program is stomping all over Alabama these days, and their latest move is extremely cocky.

Just how cocky are we talking here? Well, the Tigers have a tombstone honoring beating Alabama 44-16 in the 2019 national title game with the words “best ever” on it. (RELATED: Clemson Beats Alabama For National Title)

My friends, I’m all in on this movement. Getting tombstones to remember times you dominated things is awesome.

Dabo Swinney is known as a humble dude, but this is about as arrogant as it gets. I’m not saying I don’t like it. I love it. It’s awesome.

It’s not really in his character, but who gives a damn? This tombstone is one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

I hope all major college football programs follow this example. They should have a dedicated graveyard near the stadium just full of headstones commemorating big wins.

Hell, I’m ready to make some calls right now and write a check in order to get one in Madison for the Badgers. Of course, after our pathetic season last year, there wouldn’t exactly be many headstones, but that’s a conversation for another time.

As for Clemson, thank you for making my day. Once again, Dabo Swinney has managed to dominate the headlines for all the correct reasons.

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Sacramento Kings at Boston Celtics
Mar 14, 2019; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) takes a free throw during the second half against the Sacramento Kings at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

March 15, 2019

Kyrie Irving scored six of his team-high 31 points during a fourth-quarter spurt that allowed the Boston Celtics to build a lead they were able to retain en route to a 126-120 victory over the visiting Sacramento Kings on Thursday night.

After trailing for much of the first three quarters, the Celtics led just 104-103 following a Willie Cauley-Stein dunk for Sacramento with 6:20 to go. Irving countered immediately with a floater and, after a three-point play by Marcus Morris, added two jumpers in a 9-0 flurry that opened a 113-103 advantage with 4:33 remaining.

Irving wound up with his second career triple-double, complementing his 31 points with 10 rebounds and a game-high 12 assists. His only previous triple-double came for Cleveland against Utah in February 2014.

Sacramento’s Buddy Hield led all scorers with 34 points, connecting on 6 of 10 3-point attempts. His Kings teammates, however, made just 5 of 24 3-point shots.

Raptors 111, Lakers 98

Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points, grabbed eight rebounds and added four assists as Toronto defeated visiting Los Angeles.

Norman Powell added 20 points and eight rebounds for the Raptors, who have won their past nine games against the Lakers dating to 2015. Pascal Siakam scored 16 points, and Marc Gasol contributed 15 points for Toronto.

LeBron James led the Lakers with 29 points. Alex Caruso added 16 points, Rajon Rondo had 13 points and eight assists and JaVale McGee contributed nine points and nine rebounds.

Pacers 108, Thunder 106

Wesley Matthews’ tip-in with 1.8 seconds left lifted Indiana over host Oklahoma City.

Indiana ended the game on a 23-10 run to finish off a big comeback. Domantas Sabonis led the Pacers with 26 points, and Bojan Bogdanovic added 23.

Russell Westbrook had a chance to win the game for the Thunder in the last second, but his 3-pointer from the top of the key hit the front of the rim and bounced away. Westbrook finished with 19 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for his second consecutive triple-double, and Paul George finished with a game-high 36 points.

Magic 120, Cavaliers 91

Aaron Gordon had 21 points as Orlando got a much-needed blowout against visiting Cleveland.

Nikola Vucevic had 19 points and 11 rebounds, and D.J. Augustin had 20 points and seven assists for the Magic. The win came at an important time for Orlando, which had dropped four of its last five games.

Collin Sexton led the Cavaliers with 23 points, and Jordan Clarkson added 15 points off the bench.

Jazz 120, Timberwolves 100

Donovan Mitchell scored 24 points and dished out six assists to lead Utah past Minnesota at Salt Lake City.

Rudy Gobert and Derrick Favors each finished with double-doubles for the Jazz. Favors had 17 points and 11 rebounds. Gobert tallied 10 points and 13 boards. Jae Crowder added 18 points off the bench.

Karl-Anthony Towns scored 26 points and collected 12 rebounds before fouling out with 4:13 left. Andrew Wiggins added 14 points. Tyus Jones chipped in 12 points and nine assists.

Nuggets 100, Mavericks 99

Nikola Jokic drained a 9-foot leaner as time expired, and host Denver rallied to beat Dallas.

Jokic one-upped Dallas rookie Luka Doncic, whose dunk with 5.8 seconds left gave Dallas a one-point lead. But Denver called timeout, then got the ball to Jokic, and he hit a floater around Dwight Powell.

Jokic finished with 11 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists, and Paul Millsap had a season-high 33 points for Denver. Doncic had 24 points and Jalen Brunson scored 20 for the tired Mavericks, who didn’t arrive in Denver until 9 a.m. Thursday because of the blizzard slamming much of the middle of the country.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Orlando Magic
FILE PHOTO: Feb 2, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevic (9) dribbles the ball during the second half against the Brooklyn Nets at Amway Center. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice

March 14, 2019

By Jahmal Corner

ORLANDO (Reuters) – With less than a month remaining in the NBA’s regular season, the Orlando Magic’s contests have become something they have rarely been in the month of March – important.

The Magic are fighting to end one of the NBA’s longest playoff droughts and trail the final post-season spot in the Eastern Conference by one game. It is a welcome change for a franchise that has missed the playoffs for the past six seasons.

“It’s a huge difference (this year). The last few years this time of year we’d already be planning our vacation,” Orlando’s Serbian center Nikola Vucevic told Reuters following his team’s win over Dallas on Friday.”That’s no fun, you want to be competing at the highest stage and playing for something. This is it for us.”After the Magic beat the Dallas Mavericks 111-106 on Friday, several players checked their phones and shared results on their nearest competition.

Not since the Magic traded face of the franchise Dwight Howard, fired coach Stan Van Gundy, and parted ways with their general manager during the frenzied 2012 offseason has the team been a legitimate threat to the league.That upheaval set off a rebuilding process that has been a slow burn. The Magic acquired Vucevic via the Howard trade in 2012, forward Aaron Gordon and Frenchman Evan Fournier arrived in 2014, and the team traded for Terrence Ross in 2017 to cement the group’s core.  The growing cohesion of the lineup, Vucevic’s rise to All-Star status while averaging 20.7 points and 12 rebounds, and the hiring of first-year coach Steve Clifford can all be credited with this year’s resurgence. The added jolt of excitement has come with added pressure, though, and Ross is one of the few core players with meaningful playoff experience.”They don’t know what to expect so there’s only so much you can tell someone before they start learning for themselves. That’s the best teacher,” said Ross, of his team’s current post-season race.”At this point every possession counts. It’s going to get intense. The heat is going to turn up and the pressure is going to start to come on.”  The Magic will also face challenges this off-season when Ross and Vucevic will each become unrestricted free agents.Vucevic, in particular, has become a critical asset. If he joins a new team next season he will become the latest passing Orlando attraction, like former Magic big men Shaquille O’Neal and Howard.           

For now, the Magic, having lost three of their last four games, are focused only on trying pass the eighth-placed Miami Heat, and fend off playoff hopefuls Charlotte and Washington.

“There’s always a concern about everything,” said Clifford. “We have to have a defensive mentality (to make the playoffs).”Vucevic says it is time for them to show their mettle.

“We just have to be more consistent,” he said. “We have to show that we’re made for this and we can do it.”

(Editing by Toby Davis)

Source: OANN

NBA: Golden State Warriors at Houston Rockets
Mar 13, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) attempts to steal the ball from Golden State Warriors center DeMarcus Cousins (0) during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

March 14, 2019

DeMarcus Cousins served as a facilitator before thriving as a battering ram, leading the Golden State Warriors to a 106-104 victory over the host Houston Rockets on Wednesday.

Cousins posted season-highs in points (27) and assists (seven) to help the Warriors avert a four-game, season-series sweep by the Rockets.

The Warriors, 4-6 over their previous 10 games, snapped the Rockets’ season-best, nine-game winning streak by striking an effective inside-out balance. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 54 points on 20-of-43 shooting, with Thompson tallying 30 and five 3-pointers.

James Harden paired 29 points with 10 assists but continued his recent struggles from deep, missing 10 of 12 3-point attempts. Clint Capela posted 13 points and 13 rebounds but struggled to defend Cousins on the block. Eric Gordon added 17 points for the Rockets.

Thunder 108, Nets 96

Paul George and Russell Westbrook combined for 56 points as Oklahoma City beat visiting Brooklyn after trailing by as much as 17 early in the second quarter and 10 early in the second half.

It was the second time this season the Thunder came from a double-digit deficit in the second half to beat the Nets and the 14th game this season that Oklahoma City won after trailing by at least 10.

Westbrook finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his first triple-double since Feb. 28. Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 25 points.

Wizards 100, Magic 90

Bradley Beal scored 23 points, Thomas Bryant added 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Washington defeated visiting Orlando.

Jabari Parker added 19 points and nine rebounds for Washington, which is 2-0 on a crucial five-game homestand. Wizards reserves, led by Bryant, Parker and Chasson Randle (13 points), scored 59 points.

Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 20 points and 14 rebounds. D.J. Augustin scored 16 points, and Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac had 13 each for the Magic, who have lost four of five.

Heat 108, Pistons 74

Justise Winslow led a balanced attack with 16 points, and host Miami scored the first 21 points of the second half to roll past Detroit.

The Heat outscored the Pistons 33-8 in the third quarter. It was Detroit’s lowest-scoring quarter since Nov. 21, 2012, when the Pistons had an eight-point quarter against Orlando.

Dion Waiters had 14 points, Hassan Whiteside and Josh Richardson scored 13 apiece, and Dwyane Wade tossed in 11 points off the bench for Miami. Blake Griffin led Detroit with 13 points. Former Heat guard Wayne Ellington added 11 points.

Jazz 114, Suns 97

Donovan Mitchell scored 26 points to help Utah beat host Phoenix. The Jazz have defeated the Suns by an average of 23 points while winning each of the past five meetings.

Rudy Gobert had 18 points and 20 rebounds for the Jazz, who outscored Phoenix 36-22 during the fourth quarter. Derrick Favors added 18 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.

Devin Booker scored 27 points for the Suns, who lost for just the third time in eight games. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 18 points.

Hawks 132, Grizzlies 111

Atlanta continued its hot play on offense, with John Collins, Trae Young and Alex Len combining for 69 points in a win over visiting Memphis. The Hawks entered the game as the NBA’s top offensive team since the All-Star Game, averaging 122.5 points.

Collins finished with 27 points on 11-for-17 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds for his 28th double-double of the season. Young scored 22 points and had eight rebounds. Len came off the bench to add 20 points and eight rebounds.

CJ Miles sank eight 3-pointers and scored 33 points for the Grizzlies. Mike Conley added 20 points and seven assists.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Brooklyn Nets at Oklahoma City Thunder
Mar 13, 2019; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams (12) speaks with Oklaho Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson (23) and Thunder forward Paul George (13) during a stoppage in play in the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

March 14, 2019

Paul George and Russell Westbrook combined for 56 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the visiting Brooklyn Nets 108-96 on Wednesday night.

Oklahoma City trailed by as much as 17 early in the second quarter and 10 early in the second half. It was the second time this season the Thunder came from a double-digit deficit in the second half to beat the Nets and the 14th game this season that Oklahoma City won after trailing by at least 10.

The comeback wasn’t as dramatic as Dec. 5 in Brooklyn, when the Thunder outscored the Nets by 20 in the fourth quarter to win by two. This time, the comeback happened in the third quarter, when George snapped out of his recent slump with 12 points.

Westbrook finished with 31 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists for his first triple-double since Feb. 28. Spencer Dinwiddie led the Nets with 25 points.

Wizards 100, Magic 90

Bradley Beal scored 23 points, Thomas Bryant added 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Washington defeated visiting Orlando.

Jabari Parker added 19 points and nine rebounds for Washington, which is 2-0 on a crucial five-game homestand. Wizards reserves, led by Bryant, Parker and Chasson Randle (13 points), scored 59 points.

Nikola Vucevic led the Magic with 20 points and 14 rebounds. D.J. Augustin scored 16 points, and Aaron Gordon and Jonathan Isaac had 13 each for the Magic, who have lost four of five.

Heat 108, Pistons 74

Justise Winslow led a balanced attack with 16 points, and host Miami scored the first 21 points of the second half to roll past Detroit.

The Heat outscored the Pistons 33-8 in the third quarter. It was Detroit’s lowest-scoring quarter since Nov. 21, 2012, when the Pistons had an eight-point quarter against Orlando.

Dion Waiters had 14 points, Hassan Whiteside and Josh Richardson scored 13 apiece, and Dwyane Wade tossed in 11 points off the bench for Miami. Blake Griffin led Detroit with 13 points. Former Heat guard Wayne Ellington added 11 points.

Hawks 132, Grizzlies 111

Atlanta continued its hot play on offense, with John Collins, Trae Young and Alex Len combining for 69 points in a win over visiting Memphis. The Hawks entered the game as the NBA’s top offensive team since the All-Star Game, averaging 122.5 points.

Collins finished with 27 points on 11-for-17 shooting and grabbed 12 rebounds for his 28th double-double of the season. Young scored 22 points and had eight rebounds. Len came off the bench to add 20 points and eight rebounds.

CJ Miles sank eight 3-pointers and scored 33 points for the Grizzlies. Mike Conley added 20 points and seven assists.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

PGA: Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard - Final Round
Mar 10, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Matt Wallace hits his drive off of the first tee during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

March 13, 2019

By Andrew Both

(Reuters) – Englishman Matt Wallace and Dane Lucas Bjerregaard are first-timers at the Players Championship that starts on Thursday, but neither is a newcomer to TPC Sawgrass, which hosts the Florida event.

Wallace played a tournament at the Ponte Vedra Beach course during his American college stint, while Bjerregaard says he was 16 or 17 when he contested a junior tournament there.

They return as two of the brightest prospects in European golf — Wallace a three-times winner on the European Tour last year while Bjerregaard won the Dunhill Links at St. Andrews.

Wallace has an intense demeanor on course somewhat reminiscent of compatriot Ian Poulter, something that can be seen in a photo he posted on Twitter at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last Sunday.

In contention until he bogeyed the penultimate hole, the photo shows him with his raised hands holding a fence and his head bowed as the dejection that he could not win sank in.

“That was on the back of the 18th tee,” Wallace said in a telephone interview with Reuters on Wednesday.

“It is a different photo (from the upbeat stuff many put on social media). The reason to (post it) was to show I was gutted I couldn’t win the tournament, or have a chance.

“As soon as I saw the picture, (I thought) this is posting a different side. This is the anguish players sometimes go through.”

Wallace finished bogey, bogey to tie for sixth, a result that showed his game is trending going into the PGA Tour’s flagship event.

The world number 35 will carry a five-wood this week, a club he thinks will come in useful on several holes, including the par-five second, where he used it for both his tee shot and second shot in a practice round early on Wednesday.

There has been some chatter that the course will yield plenty of low scores, due to a combination of little rough and soft conditions after recent rains.

Wallace begs to differ.

“I think it will change a little bit come tomorrow,” he said, predicting the greens will have dried out considerably by then.

“I played late yesterday and early this morning. The wind was up at 7.30 this morning. It’s playing long.”

Wallace and Bjerregaard will also make their Masters debuts next month.

Wallace has never been to Augusta National, but teased that he has something “special” lined up for his first practice round there scheduled for the Sunday before the tournament.

Bjerregaard visited in February, and says he particularly enjoyed the sweeping view from the clubhouse.

Bjerregaard has not played much this year, instead busy moving from London to Monaco. “My fiancée has family there and a few friends,” he said. “In the UK we didn’t have that many friends nearby.”

He is ready now for a stretch of golf. “You never know,” he said of his chances this week.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by John Stonestreet)

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: PGA: WGC - Mexico Championship - Final Round
FILE PHOTO: Feb 24, 2019; Mexico City, MEX; Tiger Woods watches his shot from the seventh tee during the final round of the WGC – Mexico Championship golf tournament at Club de Golf Chapultepec. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

March 12, 2019

By Steve Keating

(Reuters) – Tiger Woods heads into this week’s Players Championship with his neck in good shape and he expects his putter to feel the same.

After withdrawing from last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational PGA Tour event with a tight neck, Woods was back in action on Tuesday playing a practice round at the TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida in the run up to the Players.

Woods’ neck and putter have both been a little strained since the start the season with the former world number one, recognized as one of the game’s greats with the short stick, carding six three-putts in each of his last two tournaments.

But with his neck now pain free, Woods says his putting has also come around as he chases a third Players title, regarded golf’s unofficial fifth major, and 81st career PGA Tour win.

“I feel good about both,” Woods, the only golfer to win the Players both when it was staged in March and May, told reporters after getting in nine holes. “The putting feels so much better as I feel better, it kind of goes hand-in-hand.

“We are all going to have patches where we don’t putt well and patches where we make everything.”

To make sure he was not overlooking anything, Woods has brought in putting guru Matt Killen to examine his stroke.

Woods work on the greens had not been up his usual standards before his neck issues, which he said only made things worse.

NOT PAINFUL

The tightness first appeared at the Genesis Open and became more of a concern at the World Golf Championships-Mexico Championship eventually forcing him out of the Arnold Palmer.

“It is not painful now,” said Woods, who will play Thursday’s opening round with defending champion Webb Simpson and Masters winner Patrick Reed.

“It was getting to the point where it was affecting my set-up, my back swing, it was just gradually getting worse and that is just because my lower back is fused.

“Matt has seen my stroke enough. I had him take a look at it to see what he thought of where my set-up looked like now versus all the times that I have putted well.”

Despite a stuttering start to the season, Woods said his build-up to the first major of the season, the Masters in April, was right on track.

Having had four back surgeries, Woods celebrated a return to the winner’s circle last season with a stunning victory at the Tour Championship and now has his eye on capturing what would be his first major title since the 2008 U.S. Open.

“I’ve played three tournaments so far and that’s about right and so I’m right there where I need to be,” said the 14-time major winner.

“My finishes are getting a little better each and every time I have gone out so far this year and I’ve got a little more consistent with my play.

“I think everything is headed on track towards April.”

(Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: OANN

The spiritual leader of Qatar’s royal family has called for a Muslim holocaust against Jews, prompting concern about the security of Israelis, Jews, Americans and other “non-believers” during the 2022 World Cup in Doha, Qatar.

Yusuf al Qaradawi, in a Jan. 30, 2009 speech that aired on Qatar’s state-owned Al-Jazeera TV network, said, “Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the [Jews] people who would punish them for their corruption. The last punishment was carried out by Hitler.”

Qatar’s spiritual leader then went on to praise Hitler saying, “By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place.” Following this, he called for an Islamic holocaust against the Jews. “This was divine punishment for them. Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.” (RELATED: Al Jazeera Readers Celebrate Orlando Terror Attack)

Two days earlier, Al Jazeera TV aired another speech, in which the radical cleric volunteered personally to “shoot” the Jews and end his life as a martyr for his main cause, which is the annihilation of the Jewish people.

“To conclude my speech, I’d like to say that the only thing I hope for is that as my life approaches its end, Allah will give me an opportunity to go to the land of jihad and resistance, even if in a wheelchair,” Qaradawi said. “I will shoot Allah’s enemies—the Jews—and they will throw a bomb at me, and thus, I will seal my life with martyrdom. Praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. Allah’s mercy and blessings upon you.”

Amjad Taha, one of the Arab journalists hacked by Qatar for being critical of the Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar’s deplorable human right conditions told the Daily Caller that “right now, [Qaradawi] is living in Doha and he is the preacher, the scholar—like the Vatican for the Muslim Brotherhood. He’s the spiritual leader of the Qatari regime right now and the Muslim Brotherhood sees him as the leader of the entire Muslim Brotherhood.”

Egyptian Cleric and chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi receives flowers from Palestinian girls upon al-Qaradawi's arrival at Rafah Crossing in the southern Gaza Strip May 8, 2013. (Photo by REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

Egyptian Cleric and chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi receives flowers from Palestinian girls upon al-Qaradawi’s arrival at Rafah Crossing in the southern Gaza Strip May 8, 2013. (Photo by REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa)

The Muslim Brotherhood, founded 1928 in Egypt as a reaction to the fall of the Ottoman Empire, was established as a religious, social and political organization that seeks to promote the move away from secularism and toward an Islamic caliphate ruled by Sharia law.

Banned from Egypt and Europe after the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood and its leader Mohamed Morsi, Qaradawi created a video in which he called for all Muslims to sacrifice their lives by carrying out jihad in an effort to turn Egypt into an Islamic republic and return power to the Muslim Brotherhood there.

Based on Qaradawi’s encouragement of jihad, Taha fears the 2022 World Cup in Qatar could be the scene of a terrorist attack.

“He has called for his Muslim followers to hate the Jews and kill the Jews,” Taha said. “There could be Munich-like attacks or worse in Qatar at the 2022 World Cup because of Qaradawi’s fatwa.”

He said one of Qaradawi’s dozens of books preaches that “as long as you’re a Muslim and a leader of your group tells you, ‘you can kill this person,’ they will do it.”

Qatar took Qaradawi in after he was expelled for his radical Islamic stance; the nation itself is known for its ties to and material and ideological support for terrorism. Most recently, the Gulf nation made intentional headlines again after it allegedly masterminded the alleged cyber hacking of over 1,400 people, including Americans, as part of a massive influence campaign that took place between 2014-2018. (RELATED: Elite Universities Hide Information On Funding From Ultraconservative Nation Of Qatar)

The hack is considered the second-largest hack ever documented worldwide.

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi (C) arrives at the opening of the International Conference on Jerusalem in Doha February 26, 2012. (Photo by REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous)

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi (C) arrives at the opening of the International Conference on Jerusalem in Doha February 26, 2012. (Photo by REUTERS/Mohammed Dabbous)

Qaradawi has authored over 120 books that are sponsored by Qatar and the Qatar Foundation. “But they don’t want to publish that. This reaches all the way to the mosque in Boston,” Taha said, referring to the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury, the same mosque that was attended by the two brothers who carried out the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing.

“Qaradawi teaches Muslims that you are allowed to bomb yourself, commit suicide, as long as your leader allows you to do so,” Taha explained. “There is video of him saying it’s fine to bomb yourself to kill American and Jews as long as you ask the leader for permission.”

“On Oct. 29, 2018 there was a bombing in Tunisia. The lady who bombed herself listened to the fatwa of Qaradawi and she carried out the attack,” Taha said.

He added, “This drives us to one point: if 2022 ‘World Cup’ takes place in Qatar, something terrible can happen. If the Jewish people and Israelis attend the 2022 World Cup, does that mean the people in Qatar of the Muslim Brotherhood and Qaradawi’s followers in the Middle East will apply his fatwa, which says you can kill the Jews because they are monkeys and pigs? If people apply his fatwa or teachings in 2022, we are going to have a lot of people killed and murdered.” (RELATED: Experts Say Qatar’s ‘Influence War’ Underscores Need For Greater Transparency)

Taha questioned why Qatar has chosen to make Qaradawi the spiritual leader of their nation. “Why not have him come to court and publicly disavow his words? Or why doesn’t he just send out a tweet where he says I’m sorry about what I said about the Jews—I didn’t mean it?” adding, “But he won’t do that, because he strongly believes in it. And his followers are the radicals. Remember he has actually praised Hitler. He hates the Jews and their religion.”

Asked why al Thani is giving Qaradawi cover, Taha said “it’s to give a voice to the Qatari government and the Muslim world to hear Qatar. They’re using him to be well-known and noticed. They are a small country. They are not like the other Arab countries or western countries. But when he goes live from Qatar to speak, people know who he is and then Qatar gets more notice and attention.”

Egyptian-born Muslim cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi (R) arrives at the Wembley conference centre, London, July 11, 2004 before addressing a conference on education.(REUTERS/Michael Crabtree)

Egyptian-born Muslim cleric Yusuf Al-Qaradawi (R) arrives at the Wembley conference centre, London, July 11, 2004 before addressing a conference on education.(REUTERS/Michael Crabtree)

Middle East and national security experts have long warned the west about radicals like Qaradawi. Lebanese-born terror expert Walid Phares told the Caller, “When I was warning about Qatar and the Muslim Brotherhood, no one was listening. And now, finally, they are.”

In a 2007 interview with the now-defunct Weekly Standard, Phares said, “al-Qaradawi produced most of the doctrinal foundations for Jihadi radicalism since the mid-1990s, including the incitement for Jihadists to defeat the Africans in southern Sudan, the Middle East minorities, and women’s movements. Al-Qaradawi [calls for the] further Talibanization of the Muslim world.”

“Honestly? I don’t trust Qatar in 2022,” said Hazem Faraj, an ex-Muslim activist and director of the upcoming film “Amriki,” which tells the story of radicalized Muslims who walked away from Sharia. “If anyone believes in the Arab people to change for the better, it’s me. In fact, I don’t believe their governments have control over the crisis that lurks in Arab society; the radicals and their messages.” (RELATED: Republicans Propose Bills Designating Iranian Guard And Muslim Brotherhood As Terror Groups)

Farraj said Qaradawi “gave me the creeps every time I was forced to listen to him because my father would. He was angry, poisonous and anti-Semitic.”

“The fact that Qaradawi could sway millions of people and call for bloodshed in Egypt’s Tahrir Square and be welcomed by official governments is disconcerting to say the least,” Farraj continued. “For us to sit on the sidelines and fool ourselves into thinking that this leader of evil terrorism won’t strike again—and that at one of the greatest events in the world—is doing an injustice to logic, reason, and innocent sports fans; people who come to these cultural events in good spirits.”

Source: The Daily Caller

FILE PHOTO: PGA: WGC - Mexico Championship - Final Round
FILE PHOTO: Feb 24, 2019; Mexico City, MEX; Tiger Woods plays his shot from the seventh tee during the final round of the WGC – Mexico Championship golf tournament at Club de Golf Chapultepec. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

March 11, 2019

(Reuters) – Tiger Woods seemingly dispelled doubts about his participation in this week’s Players Championship in Florida when he arrived on Monday and declared he was in fine fettle.

Woods pulled out of last week’s Arnold Palmer Invitational citing a neck strain, which raised the possibility that he might also miss the PGA Tour’s flagship event.

But it seems his decision to skip a tournament he has won eight times was more precautionary than the result of a serious problem.

“I feel good,” the 14-times major champion told Golfweek as he left his vehicle at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, three days before the first round.

“I needed last week off… I didn’t want to push it.”

Woods has won the Players Championship twice, most recently in 2013.

A spinal fusion nearly two years ago resurrected a career that had been in danger of coming to a premature end.

Woods last played at the WGC-Mexico Championship, where he finished equal 10th on Feb. 24.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: OANN

NBA: Phoenix Suns at Golden State Warriors
Mar 10, 2019; Oakland, CA, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Devin Booker (1) controls the ball between Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) and forward Draymond Green (23) during the fourth quarter at Oracle Arena. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

March 11, 2019

Devin Booker’s jumper with 5:01 remaining gave Phoenix the lead for good Sunday night as the Suns snapped an 18-game losing streak to the Golden State Warriors with a 115-111 victory in Oakland, Calif.

Playing the second night of a back-to-back, the Suns found the energy to outlast the Warriors after having trailed by as many as 16 points.

The Suns hadn’t beaten the Warriors since November 2014, and hadn’t won in Oakland since February 2011. The loss was the Warriors’ second in six days, sandwiching a 122-105 home win over Denver on Friday.

Booker finished with a game-high 37 points, including 13 consecutive Suns points during a stretch of the fourth quarter in which Phoenix took charge of the game. Klay Thompson had 28 points and Kevin Durant 25 for the Warriors.

76ers 106, Pacers 89

Joel Embiid returned from an eight-game absence to score 33 points and grab 12 rebounds as host Philadelphia defeated Indiana.

Embiid had been out with a sore left knee but came back to post his league-best 49th double-double of the season as the Sixers snapped a two-game losing streak.

With the win, the Sixers moved into third place in the Eastern Conference, holding a tiebreaker over the Pacers. Bojan Bogdanovic led the Pacers with 18 points while Darren Collison added 14.

Spurs 121, Bucks 114

LaMarcus Aldridge poured in 29 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan added 28 points as host San Antonio turned back Milwaukee for its fifth straight win.

The Spurs trailed the entire first half but took the lead in the third quarter and led by four points heading to the fourth. Marco Belinelli and Patty Mills hit for 16 points each for the Spurs, while Bryn Forbes added 12.

Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 27 points and 13 rebounds. Eric Bledsoe scored 21 points, Khris Middleton tallied 15, Pat Connaughton hit for 14 points, Brook Lopez added 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Nikola Mirotic contributed 10 points.

Rockets 94, Mavericks 93

Eric Gordon scored a game-high 26 points as Houston extended its winning streak to a season-best eight games by edging host Dallas.

James Harden, who picked up his fifth foul in the opening seconds of the third quarter, missed 18 of his 25 shots and took just three free throws in finishing with 20 points. Center Clint Capela added 17 points and 12 rebounds.

Luka Doncic, who was hobbling late in the game, led the Mavericks with 19 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists. He didn’t have a good shooting game, going 5 of 16 overall and 1 of 6 from beyond the arc. Rookie Jalen Brunson scored 18 points with seven rebounds.

Magic 105, Grizzlies 97

Mike Conley brought host Memphis from behind to steal a win from Orlando, giving the Grizzlies their fourth win in their last five games.

Memphis trailed 95-88 with 3:06 remaining but closed out the game on a 17-2 run. Conley had 26 points, eight assists and five rebounds, and Avery Bradley added 21 points for the Grizzlies.

Nikola Vucevic led Orlando with 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Terrence Ross added 15 points off the bench. The Magic have lost three of their last four games, though they sit just one game out of the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Hawks 128, Pelicans 116

John Collins had his second straight double-double and Kevin Huerter scored 27 points to help host Atlanta break its three-game losing streak by knocking off New Orleans.

Collins followed Saturday’s performance of 33 points and 20 rebounds against Brooklyn by getting 23 points and 10 rebounds for his 27th double-double. He also had four blocks, two of them in the final quarter when the Pelicans were trying to mount a comeback.

New Orleans center Anthony Davis returned after a missing a game with back spasms and finished with 15 points and eight rebounds. Davis played only 21 minutes. The Pelicans were led by Frank Jackson and Julius Randle, who each scored 23 points.

Timberwolves 103, Knicks 92

Taj Gibson scored a season-high 25 points and filled in nicely for injured center Karl-Anthony Towns, as Minnesota ran its home winning streak to six games at the expense of New York in Minneapolis.

Towns (right knee inflammation) missed the third game of his career after injuring his knee with eight seconds left in Saturday’s overtime win over Washington. The injury appeared significantly worse when Towns limped off the floor but and was held out of Sunday’s game as a precaution after participating in pregame warmups.

Jeff Teague collected 20 points and 10 rebounds for his 11th double-double as the Wolves shot 44.7 percent while playing without Andrew Wiggins (right quad) for the second straight game. Damyean Dotson scored 26 points for the Knicks, whose losing streak reached six games.

Raptors 125, Heat 104

Kyle Lowry scored 24 points, making six 3-pointers, and added 10 assists and seven rebounds as Toronto defeated host Miami.

Kawhi Leonard did not play Sunday because of “load management” for the Raptors, who ended the Heat’s four-game winning streak. Pascal Siakam added 20 points for the Raptors, who have won all three meetings with the Heat this season.

Bam Adebayo scored 19 points with six rebounds and five assists for the Heat, Dwyane Wade and Dion Waiters each added 15 points, Rodney McGruder had 13 points, Goran Dragic had 11 and Justise Winslow scored 10.

Pistons 131, Bulls 108

Blake Griffin racked up 28 points, six rebounds and five assists and streaking Detroit defeated Chicago for the second time in three days and completed a four-game sweep for the season.

Reggie Jackson and Langston Galloway had 21 points apiece and Andre Drummond supplied 16 points and 15 rebounds for his 18th double-double for the host Pistons, who won their fifth straight and 12th in their last 14.

Wayne Selden scored 18 points off the bench to lead the Bulls. Otto Porter Jr. and Lauri Markkanen added 17 points apiece, while Shaquille Harrison tossed in 11.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

PGA: Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard - Final Round
Mar 10, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Rory McIlroy checks his notes about a putt on the 13th green during the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

March 11, 2019

(Reuters) – With just over a month to go before he makes another bid for the career Grand Slam at the Masters, Rory McIlroy endured a mediocre final round to finish equal sixth in his title defense at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida on Sunday.

It was the worst finish of his five starts this year. The Northern Irishman has been a constant presence on leaderboards but Sundays have so far been a let down.

McIlroy started the final round at Bay Hill a stroke off the lead and when he curled in a sharply-breaking 25-foot putt for birdie at the third hole it looked like he was on course for his first win of the year.

But he would not get another birdie until the easy par-five 16th, by which time his chance had gone as Francesco Molinari breezed to victory with a closing eight-under-par 64.

McIlroy, who shot a 72 to finish on eight-under par, acknowledged it had not been a great finish to the tournament but said his game was in good shape.

“My Sundays haven’t been what I would have liked but I’m putting myself in that position,” he said.

“Good golf is good golf.”

NBC analyst Paul Azinger said one aspect of McIlroy’s game was not quite sharp enough.

“Rory’s just got to get anchored to something on and around the greens that he can really rely on, because tee-to-green he is brilliant,” he said.

McIlroy has finished no better than fourth at the Masters, the only major to elude the 29-year-old. This year’s tournament starts on April 11.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Peter Rutherford)

Source: OANN

MLB: Spring Training-Boston Red Sox at Tampa Bay Rays
Mar 10, 2019; Port Charlotte, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Mike Zunino (10) and shortstop Daniel Robertson (28) talk on the field prior to a game against the Boston Red Sox at Charlotte Sports Park. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

March 11, 2019

The Tampa Bay Rays clobbered six solo home runs while cruising to an 8-1 victory over the visiting Boston Red Sox in Port Charlotte, Fla.

Guillermo Heredia went deep twice, while Joey Wendle, Mike Zunino, Avisail Garcia and Nathaniel Lowe each did so once. Zunino added an RBI double, and Wendle and Ji-Man Choi each had two hits as well.

Rick Porcello, Hector Velazquez and Brandon Workman each surrendered two homers for the Red Sox. Velazquez allowed four runs on six hits in two innings, though he struck out two.

Yankees (ss) 6, Pirates 5

Zack Zehner’s two-run homer in the eighth inning lifted New York to a victory over visiting Pittsburgh in Tampa. Gio Urshela also went yard for the Yankees, while Jung Ho Kang and Francisco Cervelli each homered for the Pirates.

Phillies 8, Orioles 5

Jonathan Guzman broke a tie with an eighth-inning RBI double, and Trevor Plouffe followed with a two-run homer for insurance as visiting Philadelphia downed Baltimore in Sarasota, Fla. Jonathan Villar went 2-for-3 with two runs scored for the Orioles.

Marlins 5, Braves 2

Peter O’Brien had an RBI single and a grand slam to account for all five of Miami’s runs in a win over visiting Atlanta in Jupiter, Fla. Sandy Alcantara struck out five while allowing two hits and two walks in 4 1/3 scoreless innings for the Braves.

Nationals 6, Astros 4

Brothers Spencer and Carter Kieboom each hit RBI doubles to help visiting Washington to a 6-0 lead, and Houston’s late rally wasn’t enough in West Palm Beach, Fla. Abraham Toro had an RBI double in the seventh and RBI single in the ninth to help the Astros close the gap.

Blue Jays 10, Twins 1

Bo Bichette cracked two home runs and a double, and Cavan Biggio also homered as visiting Toronto cruised past Minnesota in Fort Myers, Fla. Twins starter Jake Odorizzi allowed five runs on four hits in just two-thirds of an inning.

Mets 9, Cardinals 1

Amed Rosario, Jeff McNeil and Travis d’Arnaud all went deep as New York coasted to a victory over visiting St. Louis in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Dylan Carlson homered for the Cardinals.

Padres 11, Royals 6

Aderlin Rodriguez had a grand slam and an RBI double, and Jose Pirela homered twice as visiting San Diego scored 11 unanswered runs to beat Kansas City in Surprise, Ariz. Whit Merrifield, Cam Gallagher and Adalberto Mondesi each homered to help the Royals take a 6-0 lead after two innings.

Brewers 7, Cubs 5

Ben Gamel and Tyler Saladino hit back-to-back homers in the sixth inning to help Milwaukee come from five runs down to beat visiting Chicago in Phoenix. Orlando Arcia hit a three-run shot to jumpstart the rally, after Cristhian Adames’ three-run triple put the Cubs up 5-0.

Rangers 7, Giants (ss) 6

Hunter Pence hit a solo homer against his former team, and visiting Texas overcame four errors to beat San Francisco in Scottsdale, Ariz. Mike Gerber hit a two-run triple with two outs in the ninth inning to get within one run, but Henry Ramos struck out to end the game.

Athletics 5 (ss), Giants (ss) 4

Chad Pinder, Marcus Semien and Mark Canha each went 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Canha’s walk-off single lifted Oakland over visiting San Francisco. Aramis Garcia had an RBI single and a home run for the Giants.

Athletics (ss) 7, White Sox 6

Josh Phegley had a homer and an RBI double in Oakland’s victory over Chicago in Phoenix. Jose Abreu went 3-for-4 with two doubles and four RBIs, while Yoan Moncada homered for the White Sox.

Indians 16, Mariners (ss) 2

Oscar Mercado went 3-for-3 with a solo homer and an RBI double as visiting Cleveland pummeled Seattle in Peoria, Ariz. Ryon Healy and Jay Bruce each hit solo homers for the Mariners.

Diamondbacks (ss) 3, Reds 2

Caleb Joseph’s three-run shot in the fourth inning accounted for visiting Arizona’s only scoring in a victory over Cincinnati in Goodyear, Ariz. Kyle Wren knocked in an RBI double for the Reds.

Dodgers 3, Rockies (ss) 1

Justin Turner had an RBI double and Max Muncy hit a two-run double to carry visiting Los Angeles over Colorado in Scottsdale, Ariz. Mark Reynolds’ solo shot accounted for the Rockies’ only run.

Mariners (ss) 9, Angels 9

Jared Walsh’s two-run double capped a six-run, ninth-inning rally as Los Angeles overcame a seven-run deficit to tie Seattle in Tempe, Ariz. Joe DeCarlo’s three-run double began a five-run eighth inning by the Mariners that had given them a 9-2 lead.

Diamondbacks (ss) 5, Rockies 2

Eduardo Escobar had a pair of RBI doubles, and Kevin Cron and Ildemaro Vargas each homered to help Arizona beat visiting Colorado in Monterrey, Mexico. The Rockies had just three hits, scoring on Pat Valaika’s sacrifice fly and a throwing error by Cron.

Yankees (ss) 2, Tigers 2

Miguel Cabrera hit a solo homer, and Hector Sanchez tied the game with an RBI walk in the eighth inning as Detroit tied New York in Lakeland, Fla. Brandon Wagner homered for the Yankees.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

PGA: Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard - Third Round
Mar 9, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Francesco Molinari rolls his putt from off of the ngreen on the 14th hole during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

March 10, 2019

(Reuters) – Francesco Molinari threatened to claim an unlikely victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational when he stormed home with a closing eight-under-par 64 in Florida on Sunday.

The British Open champion enjoyed his “best putting day ever” which he capped off by sinking a 45-foot birdie at the difficult par-four 18th at Bay Hill in Orlando.

The usually low-key Italian raised his right arm in the air with his index finger outstretched as he celebrated his final putt in front of an excited gallery.

He posted a 12-under 276 total, which at the time he finished was good for a two-stroke lead over Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick, who had completed 11 holes.

Molinari was four strokes ahead of a large group in third place that included defending champion Rory McIlroy, who had also completed 11 holes.

“I thought there was an outside chance and just started making putts,” Molinari told NBC television about his mindset after he had teed off five strokes from the lead.

“Probably have to say my best putting round ever.

“I don’t know if I could have done a lot more than that to be honest.”

Asked what had elevated his game over the past year, he said confidence had a lot to do with it.

“In the summer I went through a run of golf that was hard to believe, even for me.

“The winter came and it was time to find some motivation, which wasn’t extremely easy after last year. The smart thing to do was to take a long break.”

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: OANN

PGA: Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard - Third Round
Mar 9, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Matthew Fitzpatrick drives the ball off of the 15th tee during the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

March 10, 2019

(Reuters) – Matthew Fitzpatrick played bogey-free golf as he eased past Rory McIlroy for a one-stroke lead over the Northern Irishman after the third round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida on Saturday.

Back-to-back birdies at the 15th and 16th holes enabled the Englishman to overtake McIlroy and the 24-year-old saved pars at his final two holes for a five-under-par 67 to head into Sunday’s final round at nine-under 207.

Defending champion McIlroy shot a 66 to surge up the leaderboard at Bay Hill.

The former world number one, strong off the tee, birdied four of his first six holes and three of his final four as he continued solid play for the season.

McIlroy’s round could have been even stronger had he not twice three-putted at par-five holes, including at the 12th where his putting cost him a chance of an eagle.

Australian Aaron Baddeley (69), Englishman Matt Wallace (69) and American Kevin Kisner (70) shared third at seven-under.

Third round co-leaders Tommy Fleetwood (76) and Keegan Bradley (75) stumbled out of contention after beginning the day with a four-stroke advantage.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

Source: OANN

MLS: Orlando City SC at Chicago Fire
Mar 9, 2019; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Fire forward C.J. Sapong (9) scores against the Orlando City during the second half at Bridgeview Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

March 9, 2019

Forward C.J. Sapong equalized on a header in the fifth minute of extra time Saturday afternoon, allowing the Chicago Fire to salvage a 1-1 draw with visiting Orlando City SC despite being down to 10 men.

It appeared the Lions were headed for a 1-0 win until the Fire counter-attacked quickly after an Orlando City offsides infraction, getting the game-tying goal on a cross by substitute Przemyslaw Frankowski that found the head of Sapong.

The last-minute dramatics prevented an 0-2 start for the Fire, who were beaten 2-1 by the Los Angeles Galaxy last week in the opener.

Orlando City, which had opened its season with a 2-2 draw against New York City, tied for the second straight game.

Dom Dwyer turned a Chicago turnover and defensive miscommunication into the Tigers’ only goal in the 47th minute of the match.

The Lions caught a break when Nani stole a misplayed ball near midfield and chipped a pass over the head of the Chicago defense. When Fire goalie David Ousted and the last defender hesitated in clearing the bouncing ball, Dwyer swooped in and poked it over Ousted’s head for Orlando’s only goal of the match.

Dwyer had entered the game as a substitute in the 21st minute after teammate Tesho Akindele suffered an injury.

The Chicago comeback occurred after it was relegated to playing with 10 men after Jorge Corrales received a red card in the 64th minute, which was given upon video review of a late slide tackle just outside the box.

Chicago outshot the visitors 7-2 in the match, but just 3-2 in shots on target.

Orlando goalie Brian Rowe made two saves, while Chicago’s Ousted had one.

The Fire had won their last three matches against the Lions. They remained unbeaten (3-0-4) against Orlando City since 2015.

The two Eastern Conference rivals don’t meet again until the season finale on Oct. 6.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Philadelphia 76ers at Houston Rockets
Mar 8, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) elevates for a dunk against the Philadelphia 76ers during the fourth quarter at Toyota Center. Mandatory Credit: Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports

March 9, 2019

James Harden scored 31 points, Eric Gordon chipped in 17 with five 3-pointers, and the Houston Rockets extended their winning streak to a season-best seven games with their 107-91 victory over the visiting Philadelphia 76ers on Friday.

Harden added 10 rebounds, seven assists and two steals for the Rockets, who seized control with a 14-2 spurt midway through the first quarter. Philadelphia played its eighth consecutive game without All-Star center Joel Embiid (left knee), falling to 4-4 in that stretch.

A combination of lethargic defense and errant shooting did the 76ers in, particularly early. While Houston rolled to a 37-point opening period on 56.5 percent shooting, Philadelphia missed all four of its 3-point attempts in the first quarter while shooting 10 of 24 (41.7 percent) overall.

The 76ers’ shooting did not improve throughout the course of the game, with Philadelphia finishing 3 of 26 from behind the arc while shooting 36.8 percent from the floor. Tobias Harris paced the 76ers with 22 points and nine rebounds.

Raptors 127, Pelicans 104

Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and visiting Toronto pulled away from short-handed New Orleans in the second half of a blowout victory.

Leonard scored 24 first-half points and finished 14 of 20 from the floor. Kyle Lowry added a triple-double with 13 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds while Pascal Siakam scored 19 points.

The Pelicans played without three starters. Jrue Holiday (abdominal strain) and E’Twaun Moore (quad contusion) were ruled out for at least a week to 10 days, and Anthony Davis was a last-minute scratch because of back spasms. Frank Johnson led New Orleans with 20 points.

Hornets 112, Wizards 111

Marvin Williams erupted for a season-high 30 points and career-high seven 3-pointers as Charlotte held on in the closing seconds for a victory over visiting Washington.

The Hornets won when Washington’s Bradley Beal missed a drive in heavy traffic with three seconds remaining. Jeremy Lamb had given the Hornets a 112-111 lead on a 3-pointer with 51.5 seconds remaining. The Hornets had lost nine of their previous 12.

Bobby Portis had 23 points and nine rebounds to lead the Wizards. Beal scored 15 points but hit just 4 of 21 field-goal attempts.

Pistons 112, Bulls 104

Blake Griffin scored 27 points, including 16 in the fourth quarter, and visiting Detroit rallied from a 21-point deficit to down Chicago.

Andre Drummond recorded his 11th 20-20 game this season with 20 points and 24 rebounds as the Pistons won for the 11th time in 13 games. Reggie Jackson supplied 21 points, Langston Galloway added 15 and Luke Kennard chipped in 14. Detroit outscored Chicago 43-24 in the decisive fourth quarter.

Zach LaVine led the Bulls with 24 points, Otto Porter Jr. supplied 23 points and eight assists while Lauri Markkanen added 18 points. Chicago had three starters in double figures by halftime in racing to a 66-49 halftime lead before being outscored 63-38 in the second half.

Heat 126, Cavaliers 110

Dwyane Wade sparked a third-quarter run, and Miami scored 10 straight in the fourth quarter to pull away for a win over visiting Cleveland.

The Heat remain in eighth place in the Eastern Conference, just ahead of Orlando and Charlotte, both winners on Friday night. The victory also was Miami’s 16th straight against the Cavaliers at AmericanAirlines Arena.

Eight Heat players scored in double figures. Josh Richardson led the way with 20 points. Justise Winslow finished with 16 points, nine rebounds and nine assists. Collin Sexton paced Cleveland with 27 points, and Jordan Clarkson added 21.

Magic 111, Mavericks 106

Terrence Ross scored 22 points in his return from a one-game absence caused by a sore left Achilles as host Orlando beat Dallas.

Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic recorded his team-high 48th double-double of the season after collecting 20 points and 13 rebounds. Aaron Gordon chipped in with 18 points, and Ross went 6-for-11 from 3-point range for the Magic, who have won nine of their last 13 games.

Dallas’ Dirk Nowitzki, who finished with 15 points, moved past John Stockton for third place all-time in games played (1,505) in NBA history. The 40-year-old trails only Robert Parish (1,611) and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1,560).

Grizzlies 114, Jazz 104

Mike Conley scored 28 points and dished out 11 assists, and Jonas Valanciunas added 27 points as host Memphis defeated Utah.

The Grizzlies, who beat the Jazz for the third time in four meetings this season, shot 51.1 percent from the field and outscored Utah 60-34 in the paint.

Donovan Mitchell poured in 38 points while shooting 12 of 24 from the field to lead Utah. Joe Ingles added 14 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Jazz, and Jae Crowder had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

FILE PHOTO: PGA: Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard - Second Round
FILE PHOTO: Mar 8, 2019; Orlando, FL, USA; Tommy Fleetwood hits a tee shot on the 15th hole during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational golf tournament at Bay Hill Club & Lodge. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

March 9, 2019

(Reuters) – Englishman Tommy Fleetwood set the early pace and American Keegan Bradley played catch-up as they soared to a joint four-stroke lead in the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida on Friday.

Fleetwood, last year’s U.S. Open runner-up, collected a pair of eagles at par-five holes to shoot six-under 66 and Bradley followed with a 68 as they wound up on nine-under 135 at Bay Hill.

“If you can score on the par-fives, you can shoot a good score and that’s basically where I made all my numbers up today,” Fleetwood, who has a close friend living on the course, told Golf Channel.

“It was just nice to have a day like that and just constantly feel at ease really with hitting good golf shots.”

Six players were tied for third at five-under including last week’s Honda Classic winner Keith Mitchell (68).

Billy Horschel (71), Venezuelan Jhnonattan Vegas (70), Italian Francesco Molinari (70), American Kevin Kisner (69) and Canadian Roger Sloan (69) also were at 139.

But the tournament ended early for five times major winner Phil Mickelson, who failed to make the cut after a six-over 78 that included three bogeys and two doubles after an opening 68 on Thursday.

South African Ernie Els (75-146) and American Brooks Koepka (73-147) also missed the cut.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina)

Source: OANN

NCAA Basketball: Southern Methodist at Houston
Mar 7, 2019; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Cougars guard Armoni Brooks (3) shoots the ball during the first half against the Southern Methodist Mustangs at Fertitta Center. Troy Taormina

March 8, 2019

B.J. Taylor scored a game-high 22 points — including six in the final two minutes — to propel No. 25 UCF to a 58-55 victory over No. 20 Cincinnati on Thursday night in Orlando, completing back-to-back wins over the top two teams in the American Athletic Conference.

The Knights (23-6, 13-4 AAC), coming off a victory over league-leading Houston, snapped any hopes the Bearcats (25-5, 14-3) had of a second consecutive AAC regular-season title.

Taylor broke a tie with a layup, and then again with two free throws, all in the final two minutes. After Cane Broome missed a 3-point attempt, Taylor’s layup with 17 seconds remaining put the Knights up 57-53.

Another deep try by Broome just before the buzzer came up short, sealing UCF’s fourth win in a row and seventh in eight games.

No. 12 Houston 90, SMU 79

Armoni Brooks scored 20 points as the host Cougars clinched a share of their first regular-season conference championship since 1992 with a victory over the depleted Mustangs.

Houston (28-2, 15-2 AAC) bounced back from its first home loss in two years by shooting 12 of 29 on 3-point attempts and outflanking SMU (13-16, 5-12). The Mustangs, ravaged by injuries, dropped their fourth consecutive game and fell for the ninth time in 10 games.

Corey Davis Jr. scored 17 points while Breaon Brady added 16 points for the Cougars, who secured the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament in Memphis next week. Jahmal McMurray led SMU with 24 points while Ethan Chargois scored 21.

No. 21 Wisconsin 65, Iowa 45

Ethan Happ scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds in his last home game as the Badgers moved within a game of securing a double bye in next week’s Big Ten Conference tournament by pasting the Hawkeyes in Madison, Wis.

Happ also added three assists, two steals and two blocked shots for Wisconsin (21-9, 13-6 Big Ten), which would clinch the fourth seed for the conference tourney if it wins its regular-season finale Sunday at Ohio State.

Khalil Iverson also posted a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds as the Badgers polished off a series sweep of the Hawkeyes (21-9, 10-9).

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

NBA: Oklahoma City Thunder at Denver Nuggets
Feb 26, 2019; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic (15) reacts after a play in the second quarter against the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

February 27, 2019

Nikola Jokic had 36 points, 10 assists and nine rebounds, Will Barton scored 23 points, and the host Denver Nuggets beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 121-112 on Tuesday night.

Jamal Murray added 20 points and Paul Millsap finished with 12 points and 10 rebounds to help Denver win its fifth straight. The Nuggets have won each of their first three matchups against Oklahoma City this season.

Russell Westbrook had 22 points, 14 rebounds and nine assists, and Paul George added 25 points, eight rebounds, seven assists and six steals for Oklahoma City. Jerami Grant contributed 21 points for the Thunder, who have lost three of their past four.

The Nuggets held a 13-point lead early in the fourth quarter before Oklahoma City came storming back to take a three-point lead. Then Denver responded to the run with one of its own. Millsap hit two free throws, and Murray followed a Thunder miss with a corner 3-pointer to give the Nuggets the lead again. Millsap hit a layup and split two free throws to make it 105-101 with 4:19 left.

Raptors 118, Celtics 95

Pascal Siakam scored 25 points and grabbed eight rebounds to help Toronto defeat visiting Boston.

Kawhi Leonard added 21 points and six rebounds for the Raptors, who have won eight straight home games against the Celtics and eight of their past nine games overall.

Marcus Morris had 17 points and six rebounds for the Celtics, who have lost three in a row and five of their past seven.

Knicks 108, Magic 103

Emmanuel Mudiay scored 19 points to lead a big night from the reserves as New York overcame a 16-point deficit to record a victory over visiting Orlando.

The Knicks won consecutive games for the only time this season other than a three-game stretch in late November. They posted a second straight home victory after a team-record, 18-game home losing streak.

Rookie Allonzo Trier scored 12 of his 18 in the fourth while first-year center Mitchell Robinson finished with a career-best 17 points, 14 rebounds, six blocks and three steals for New York. Aaron Gordon and Nikola Vucevic scored 26 points apiece for Orlando, which lost for the third time in its past 11 games.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

Katie Jerkovich | Entertainment Reporter

Katy Perry revealed the details of how Orlando Bloom popped the question on Valentine’s Day, complete with how his helicopter proposal did not go as smoothly as he had hoped.

“It was very sweet. It was Valentine’s Day … we went to dinner and I thought we were going to go see some art after dinner but we pulled up to a helicopter,” the 34-year-old singer shared during her appearance Monday night on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” (RELATED: Ryan Seacrest Gets Caught Making Bizarre Comments To Katy Perry On A Hot Mic)

WATCH:

“Very Bachelor,” the host replied and she agreed.

“Yeah. I’m glad I don’t have to go on that show now,” Perry replied, laughing. “It was really sweet. He asked me to marry him in a helicopter.”

“Actually the funny part is we had champagne in the helicopter and the [ring] box was in his pocket and he had written down everything he wanted to say on a note,” she added, explaining the note was meant to “divert” her attention so that he could get the ring. (RELATED: Katy Perry Accidentally Flashes ‘Idol’ Judges [VIDEO])

Perry continued, “So I’m reading [the note] but I’m hearing the champagne is broken and the bottle’s everywhere … he’s pulling out this box that’s too big for his coat pocket, rips his coat pocket and his elbow goes into the champagne.”

“And then we did land and it was like James Bond,” the “Roar” singer went on. “We landed on a rooftop [a building in downtown Los Angeles] and my whole family was there, and all my friends. He did so well.”

And about that very unique flower-shaped diamond engagement ring the 42-year-old actor gave her, the “Dark Horse” hitmaker admitted she “voiced” her “opinions.”

The comments come on the heels of reports earlier this month that the popular Hollywood duo were engaged with matching snapshots on Instagram showing off the rock.

As previously reported, she captioned her shot, “Full bloom.” while Bloom star captioned the same picture, “Lifetimes.”

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

Christian Hackenberg’s days as a starting quarterback in the Alliance of American Football are done for the time being.

Memphis Express head coach Mike Singletary announced the news Monday that Hackenberg was being benched in favor of Zach Mettenberger. (RELATED: Former NFL QB Throws One Of The Worst Interceptions You’ll Ever See. What Was He Thinking?)

Hackenberg’s apparent inability to play football these days is simply mind-boggling. I don’t get it at all. We know he has all the physical tools necessary, but he just can’t seem to put it together after leaving Penn State.

Some of the plays he’s made in the AAF are truly shocking. Take a look at these passes below, and then try to figure out how a former NFL quarterback could ever throw them.

As I’ve said before, if Hackenberg can’t cut it in the AAF, then his days playing football are almost certainly over. What a crazy fall from grace. He was very good for the Nittany Lions.

Now, I think I could pull a bum off of the street capable of making better passes.

It really does look like Hackenberg’s days cashing checks as a pro football player are likely nearing an end.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

David Hookstead | Reporter

The Alliance of American Football has more problems on its hands.

Darren Rovell reported Monday that Robert Vanech was suing the league, claiming that he originally came up with the idea and had a “handshake agreement” with founder Charlie Ebersol.

He’s suing for money and to get “his name” as part of the league’s history.

The AAF just can’t seem to get away from trouble. First, they didn’t pay players on time, the league gets a massive infusion of cash, the Orlando Apollos couldn’t practice in Orlando for worker’s comp. legal reasons and now the league is just being straight up sued. (RELATED: San Diego Fleet Quarterback Phillip Nelson Completes No-Look Heave Of A Pass)

I was hoping the play on the field would be entertaining. It turns out all the stuff off of the field might be even more entertaining and electric. Missed paychecks and lawsuits!

Sign me up!

The fact the AAF is getting sued might not be all bad. It proves there’s likely something worth suing for and the league will be a success in the end.

At least that’s how Erlich Bachman would try to spin it.

Anybody who says they’re not highly-entertained by this league is simply lying to you. It’s nonstop chaos, and it’s football.

Chaos and football are coming together all year! What more could you want?

I can’t wait to see what wild turn the AAF takes next. I have no doubt that I’ll be following along nonstop.

Follow David Hookstead on Twitter

Source: The Daily Caller

NBA: Utah Jazz at Oklahoma City Thunder
Feb 22, 2019; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) celebrates after scoring against the Utah Jazz during the second half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

February 23, 2019

Paul George scored 45 points, including a floater with less than a second left in the second overtime, to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 148-147 win over the visiting Utah Jazz on Friday night.

The Jazz led by one when George grabbed a rebound off a missed shot by Utah’s Joe Ingles with 10 seconds left. George kept the ball until he drove into the lane before releasing the high floater that went cleanly through the net.

Russell Westbrook’s NBA-record streak of 11 consecutive triple-doubles came to an end when he was called for his sixth foul on a charge with 1:09 remaining in the first extra session. Westbrook finished with 43 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists. He hit a season-high six 3-pointers.

Donovan Mitchell led Utah with 38 points, going 14 of 35 from the field.

Raptors 120, Spurs 117

Kawhi Leonard had 25 points and scored the go-ahead dunk after a steal with 15.1 seconds remaining as host Toronto defeated his former team, San Antonio.

Former Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan had 23 points and eight assists in his first game in Toronto since his offseason trade to the Spurs. Marco Belinelli added 21 points on five 3-pointers for San Antonio.

Pascal Siakam added 22 points and six assists for the Raptors, and Serge Ibaka contributed 13 points and 15 rebounds.

Nuggets 114, Mavericks 104

Visiting Denver shook off some rust before drilling Dallas with a third-quarter barrage en route to a victory.

The Nuggets trailed for much of the first half against the Mavericks, who played without Luka Doncic. The rookie sensation is day-to-day due to a sore right knee.

Nikola Jokic posted a team-high 19 points along with 13 rebounds and eight assists for Denver, and Paul Millsap had 17 points and 13 rebounds. Dallas rookie Jalen Brunson, starting for Doncic, finished with a game-high and career-best 22 points.

Bulls 110, Magic 109

Lauri Markkanen hit two free throws with 1.5 seconds remaining to give Chicago a road victory that snapped Orlando’s five-game winning streak.

The Bulls were down by one when Markkanen was fouled on a 3-point attempt. After missing the first attempt, Markkanen sank the next two free throws to put the Bulls ahead, and the Magic could not get a shot off before the buzzer at the other end.

Markkanen led Chicago with 25 points and 11 rebounds, and Zach LaVine had 22 points and six assists. Evan Fournier had 22 points, and Nikola Vucevic added 19 points, 13 rebounds and seven assists for Orlando.

Pistons 125, Hawks 122

Thon Maker drilled a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 17.1 seconds remaining, and visiting Detroit held on to beat Atlanta.

Maker took a pass from Reggie Jackson and calmly made the trey, his third of the night, giving him nine points for the game. Jackson had 32 points, five rebounds and eight assists as the Pistons won for the fifth time in six games.

Atlanta, which has lost five of its past six, got 30 points and 10 assists from Trae Young.

Pacers 126, Pelicans 111

Tyreke Evans gave Indiana the lead for good with a 3-pointer late in the third quarter and the Pacers scored the first eight points of the final period to begin to pull away from New Orleans in Indianapolis.

In winning for the seventh time in their past eight games, the Pacers led for a total of just 14 seconds before Evans hit his tiebreaking 3-pointer with three seconds remaining in the third period for a 97-94 lead. Wesley Matthews hit six 3-pointers to account for a majority of his team-high 24 points for Indiana.

Embattled big man Anthony Davis had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Pelicans but was limited to just 20 minutes.

Timberwolves 115, Knicks 104

Reserve Derrick Rose scored 20 points as Minnesota overcame the absence of All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns to earn a victory over New York, which had its team-record home losing streak reach 18 games.

Towns was placed in the NBA’s concussion protocol before the game and missed the first game of his four-year career. He was involved in a traffic accident in the Minneapolis area Thursday when he was headed to the airport. Taj Gibson started for Towns and added 19 points and 10 rebounds for Minnesota.

The Knicks tied the 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers for the second-longest home skid in NBA history. New York, which got 20 points apiece from Allonzo Trier and Damyean Dotson, lost for the 19th time in its past 20 games overall.

Hornets 123, Wizards 110

Kemba Walker had 27 points, 11 assists and five rebounds, and Charlotte snapped a two-game losing streak with a victory over Bradley Beal and visiting Washington.

The Hornets trailed by as many as 12 in the first quarter, but they regrouped to lead at halftime and then pushed the lead up to 16 in the third quarter. Beal put on a shooting display and finished with 46 points, five shy of his career high. He was 16 of 25 from the field with four 3-pointers.

The Hornets shuffled their lineup for the first time all season with forward Miles Bridges getting his first career start, guard Jeremy Lamb going to the bench, and Nicolas Batum moving from forward to guard. The move worked, as Batum scored 20, Lamb 16 and Bridges 14.

Clippers 112, Grizzlies 106

Reserve forward Montrezl Harrell scored 19 of his 30 points in the first half, and Danilo Gallinari added 23 as visiting Los Angeles built a big early lead, then held on to beat Memphis.

Lou Williams scored 18 points off the bench for the Clippers, who won for the fourth time in their past six games, with five of those contests on the road.

Mike Conley scored 25 points and handed out 10 assists, and Joakim Noah added a season-high 22 points plus 11 rebounds for Memphis.

–Field Level Media

Source: OANN

PGA: WGC - Mexico Championship - Second Round
Feb 22, 2019; Mexico City, MEX; Dustin Johnson plays his shot from the 18th tee during the second round of the WGC – Mexico Championship golf tournament at Club de Golf Chapultepec. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

February 23, 2019

(Reuters) – Dustin Johnson surged to a two-shot lead over Rory McIlroy and Matt Kuchar with a flawless four-under-par 67 in the second round of the WGC-Mexico Championship on Friday.

The world number three wiped out Northern Irishman McIlroy’s early four-stroke advantage at the Club de Golf Chapultepec to wind up at 11-under 131 for the tournament.

McIlroy, the overnight leader after a first-round 63, looked set to break open the tournament with birdies at three of his first four holes but a bogey at the sixth and a double at the ninth left him with a 70.

Kuchar’s six-birdie 67 kept him at the top end of the leaderboard, while Tiger Woods and defending champion Phil Mickelson were on the move.

Woods found his putting touch to advance to within six shots of the lead with a 66 and Mickelson rebounded from an opening 79 with the joint best round of the day, a 65.

England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Spaniard Sergio Garcia were tied for fourth on seven-under.

Fleetwood started his day with back-to-back eagles and matched Mickelson’s 65, while Garcia shot a 66.

(Reporting by Gene Cherry in Raleigh, North Carolina, editing by Nick Mulvenney)

Source: OANN

Traders work on the floor of the NYSE in New York
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 22, 2019. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

February 22, 2019

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A return to fashion of growth stocks in 2019 helped lead the overall market out of a year-end shakeout, but another multi-year run of growth performing better than value may not be in the cards.

The S&P 500 has rallied nearly 18 percent since its Dec. 24 low. During that time the Russell 1000 Growth index has fared even better with a gain of almost 20 percent while the Russell 1000 Value index has lagged with a gain of about 17 percent.

That marks a reversal from the fourth quarter, when value outperformed as stocks nearly tumbled into bear market territory, a trend some analysts feel will return as the market grapples with several major headwinds such as Brexit and trade negotiations.

Growth investors typically search for companies that have higher profit growth and margins, while value investors look for stocks that seem inexpensive.

Shortly after the S&P hit its most recent record on Sept. 20, thanks to the outperformance by growth, especially technology stocks, the spread between the Russell 1000 growth and value indexes had surpassed the levels hit during the end of the dot-com era. The fourth quarter selloff helped that narrow but it began to widen again shortly before the new year.

“The valuation imbalance we have seen between growth and value in the largecap space … when we have seen that inflection point in the past there has been a very powerful long-term rally where value has outperformed growth and we think that is coming up,” said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist, at Federated Investors, in New York.

(Graphic: Historic spread between value and growth stocks – https://tmsnrt.rs/2V7L04a

(Graphic: Russell 1000 growth vs value spread – https://tmsnrt.rs/2VgekWh

In a recent note to clients, Morgan Stanley equity strategist Michael Wilson said that the stocks that got hit first and hardest during last year’s “rolling bear market” would lead the recovery this year and rally the hardest. That prediction appears to be playing out as areas such as transportation, considered cyclical value, have been among the leaders to the upside this year.

Wilson anticipated the Federal Reserve will hold off raising interest rates further and that the global economy would bottom in the first half. He favors value over growth, with a focus on cyclical over defensive stocks.

Value stocks also remain cheap relative to growth shares, with their widest forward price-to-earnings ratio spread in over a decade. And while investor worries about a recession, which helped fuel the fourth-quarter sell-off, have abated, a number of headwinds remain that could make value more attractive as market uncertainty rises.

“There are still a lot of headaches coming, whether it is Brexit, China – what is the (trade) package going to look like? – the legal stuff in Washington,” said Steve DeSanctis, equity strategist at Jefferies in New York.

The Russell 1000 Value forward PE also sits right at its long-term average of about 13.8 while the Growth index is nearly 20, well above its historic average of 17.5.

(Graphic: Forward PE of Russell Growth and Value indexes – https://tmsnrt.rs/2Ep2nrw)

One challenge, even though value is relatively cheap, is that financials have a heavy weighting in value indexes and a Fed pause will make it harder for those firms to grow profits.

Even though, as of the last reconstitution of Russell indexes in June, the financial services sector saw the most significant decrease in index weight in the largecap 1000 value index, it still was 29.1 percent. In the Russell 2000 Smallcap Value financials command a weighting of 40.5 percent.

“If value is going to work, it has to be financials,” said Mark Stoeckle, CEO at Adams Funds in Baltimore in an interview with Reuters.

“The one thing people were counting on in the first half of 2018 with the Fed was it was going to continue to raise rates, this (was) going to be good for banks – and not so much anymore.”

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Alden Bentley and Phil Berlowitz)

Source: OANN

PGA: WGC - Mexico Championship - First Round
Feb 21, 2019; Mexico City, MEX; Rory McIlroy plays his shot from the 12th tee during the first round of the WGC – Mexico Championship golf tournament at Club de Golf Chapultepec. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

February 22, 2019

(Reuters) – Rory McIlroy almost aced a par-four hole en route to the first-round lead at the WGC-Mexico Championship on Thursday.

McIlroy’s two-iron at the 305-yard first hole, his 10th of the day, landed on the front of the green and his ball almost grazed the cup as it trickled past.

He sank the subsequent six-foot eagle putt and carded an eight-under-par 63 at Club de Golf Chapultepec in Mexico City.

The Northern Irishman headed American Dustin Johnson by one stroke.

Tiger Woods, after receiving an enthusiastic introduction from the first tee announcer in his first tournament appearance in Mexico, promptly hit his drive out-of-bounds.

He double-bogeyed the hole but recovered to shoot a level-par 71.

Defending champion Phil Mickelson could hardly have started worse, carding an eight-over 79.

(Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Ken Ferris)

Source: OANN

A long zip line provides a fast escape route for astronauts and crew in case of an emergency at Launch Complex 41 in Cape Canaveral
A long zip line provides a fast escape route for astronauts and crew in case of an emergency at Launch Complex 41 in Cape Canaveral, Florida, U.S., January 15, 2019. REUTERS/Eric M. Johnson

February 21, 2019

By Eric M. Johnson

SEATTLE (Reuters) – NASA has warned SpaceX and Boeing Co of design and safety concerns for their competing astronaut launch systems, according to industry sources and a new government report, threatening the U.S. bid to revive its human spaceflight program later this year.

NASA is paying SpaceX $2.6 billion and Boeing $4.2 billion to build rocket and capsule launch systems to return astronauts to the International Space Station from U.S. soil for the first time since America’s Space Shuttle program went dark in 2011.

Just ahead of the first scheduled un-manned test flight slated for March 2 under NASA’s multibillion-dollar Commercial Crew Program, NASA’s safety advisory panel cited four “key risk items” in its 2018 annual report earlier this month.

For Boeing, they include the capsule’s structural vulnerability when the heat shield is deployed. For SpaceX, the report mentioned the redesign of a SpaceX rocket canister following a 2016 explosion and its “load and go” process of fueling the rocket with the crew already inside the capsule. “Parachute performance” remained an issue for both companies.

“There are serious challenges to the current launch schedules for both SpaceX and Boeing,” the report said.

For an interactive version of this story, click https://tmsnrt.rs/2V6pXyN

Two people with direct knowledge of the program told Reuters that the space agency’s concerns go beyond the four items listed, and include a risk ledger that as of early February contained 30 to 35 lingering technical concerns each for SpaceX and Boeing. Reuters could not verify what all of the nearly three dozen items are. But the sources familiar with the matter said the companies must address “most” of those concerns before flying astronauts and, eventually, tourists to space.

The NASA risk database is updated routinely during the course of NASA’s stringent certification process, which includes data collection, tests and collaboration with SpaceX and Boeing, the people said. The Boeing and SpaceX systems have already been delayed several times in recent years, which is common in this sector given the complexity of building multibillion-dollar spacecraft capable of shedding earth’s gravity.

NASA spokesman Joshua Finch deferred all technical questions on Boeing and SpaceX systems to the companies, citing confidentiality, but said: “Flying safely always takes precedence over schedule.”

Boeing spokesman Josh Barrett said the company “closed out” the capsule’s structural vulnerability risk when it completed its structural test program in January. While Boeing is working through a number of other issues, they “are not driving any major architectural system changes.”

“Our numbers show we are exceeding NASA’s safety requirements,” said Barrett.

SpaceX spokesman James Gleeson said the company, working with NASA, has developed “one of the safest, most-advanced human spaceflight systems ever built.”

“There is nothing more important to SpaceX than safely flying crew,” said Gleeson, calling it “core to our company’s long-term goal of enabling access for people who dream of flying to space.”

Founded by Tesla Inc Chief Executive Elon Musk, SpaceX has cut the cost of rocket launches with its pioneering reusable rocket technology, while Boeing traces its space business back to the first U.S. human space missions of the 1960s and is also the world’s largest planemaker.

The clock is ticking. The U.S. has been paying Russia about $80 million per ticket for a ride to the International Space Station, a $100 billion orbital research laboratory that flies about 250 miles (402 km) above Earth.

There are no seats available for U.S. crew on the Russia spacecraft after 2019 given production schedules and other factors. NASA said last week it was considering paying for two more seats to the space station for this fall and spring 2020 to ensure U.S. access.

The NASA plan for extra seats came a week after its safety panel said Congress should come up with a “mitigation plan” in case delays threaten U.S. access to the space station – echoing earlier concerns from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.

NASA is set to conduct a flight readiness review on Friday for SpaceX’s mission without a crew on March 2. NASA will decide whether to approve the test flight without a crew, while SpaceX addresses the issues raised for a human mission.

PARACHUTE WEAKNESSES

Three people familiar with the project say the U.S. space agency has identified some design discrepancies between earlier SpaceX capsules designed to haul cargo to the International Space Station, and a newer version designed to carry humans.

Some of the risks – such as those identified in the designs of the enormous parachutes that deploy when the capsule plummets back to Earth at supersonic speeds – are uncommon given how close SpaceX is to test flights, two of the people said.

The timing of deployment of the SpaceX parachutes and the interaction of the parachutes themselves have raised concerns about parachute performance, and potentially whether they will be able to slow down the capsule enough to ensure the crew’s safety, two people said.

SpaceX has completed 17 parachute tests for the Commercial Crew Program so far, with an additional 10 tests planned prior to Crew Dragon’s second demonstration mission, Gleeson said. He also said its parachute systems are designed with redundancy so the vehicle can still safely splashdown in the event that one parachute fails.

NASA’s safety panel said in its report that SpaceX may be required to re-design its parachute system. A re-design would likely trigger more testing and potentially weeks or months of extra delays, two of the people said.

NASA also found design problems with the system that helps orient SpaceX’s capsule in an upright position once it lands in the ocean, raising the risk of taking on excessive amounts of water, according to two industry sources and confirmed by a NASA official.

SpaceX’s Gleeson said Crew Dragon’s outer shell is water-resistant, and the spacecraft itself is buoyant and does not pose a risk to crew members after splashdown.

RISK OF MORE DELAYS

NASA announced earlier this month that SpaceX was now targeting March 2 instead of Feb. 23 for its un-crewed Crew Dragon test flight, with its astronaut flight planned for July. NASA explained the delay by citing vague concerns for both contractors, such as the need to complete hardware testing and other work.

NASA said Boeing’s un-crewed Starliner would fly “no earlier” than April, with the crewed mission currently slated for August. This is the schedule now at risk, according to the NASA report.

The challenges in front of Boeing include last year’s failure during a test of its launch-abort engines, which spilled caustic fuel on the test stand, Boeing’s Barrett said. The accident was caused by faulty valves which Boeing has re-designed and re-ordered from the supplier, though the new valves must be re-tested, Barrett said.

The test flights are also part of collecting the data needed to close out some risk items, NASA said.

“SpaceX and Boeing both have challenges, both comparable, from a safety perspective,” said one U.S. government source.

(Reporting by Eric M. Johnson in Seattle; Additional reporting by Tracy Rucinski in Washington and Joey Roulette in Orlando, Florida; Editing by Edward Tobin)

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