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Late Friday greens at the Arnold Palmer Invitational remind Rory McIlroy of late Sunday

ORLANDO - Rory McIlroy strolled into goal, took a deep breath and said, "I can't wait to see what those greens look like on Sunday. Woooo!” McIlroy sighed, not a sigh of defeat but of a man who had run out of patience after two bogeys in the last four holes… (Author: Gardener)

Late FridayORLANDO - Rory McIlroy strolled into goal, took a deep breath and said, "I can't wait to see what those greens look like on Sunday. McIlroy sighed, not a sigh of defeat but of a man who had run out of patience after two bogeys in the last four holes made him do it, as he entered Bay Hill Lodge and Club on a day when the greens were getting firmer and firmer Achieving an even par 72 is glassy as the sun has baked them extra crispy. When asked how fiendish the putting surfaces have gotten compared to years past when just 4 under won titles in 2020, McIlroy said, “It's up there. I don't think it's maybe quite as fiendish as the weekend for the past few years because the fairways are kind of soft. But the greens have it – those are the greens you expect late on a Sunday, not late on a Friday.” A day after rocketing to the top of the leaderboard with a 65, McIlroy didn't feel like seven shots to have played worse. He opened with a bogey on the first hole, but rebounded with birdies on #4, 7, and 8, the latter of which he caught a 48-foot putt from the rim. "I told Harry that it was the first time the putter stayed still behind the ball because I was putting from the rim," he said. Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy reacts to a missed putt on the 13th green during the second round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard at the Arnold Palmer Bay Hill Golf Course on March 04, 2022 in Orlando, Florida. He didn't take advantage of the par 5 at the back and took three putts from 30 feet at 15 for the first of two bogeys en route to the clubhouse. (He would make another one at 17.) McIlroy missed a 4-foot comeback and stopped to look at the line again after tapping for bogey on his way to the 16th tee and chatting with caddy Harry Diamond about it would have. "It was a putt that went a bit right to left but I knew if I hit it outside the hole and on the top edge it just slid on me really lightly and didn't roll right away, it could just be up there." stay,” McIlroy explained. "I kind of had it right without giving away the hole and it just broke a little bit more than I thought it would." Although he missed a few putts on the high side, McIlroy said he enjoyed the challenge ahead of him of putting down fast, firm greens. "The challenge of putting them on is a little different because it can get a little — it gets inconsistent. The ball sometimes slips when breaking putts and doesn't take the break, and then it rolls pretty early and then breaks early,” he said. "So it becomes a guessing game when they get glassy like that. McIlroy goes into the weekend two strokes behind leader Viktor Hovland, who shot 66 on Friday and finished 9 under after the first 36 holes. When told Hovland only needed 23 putts, McIlroy said, "See how he does tomorrow." "Let's see how he does tomorrow," McIlroy repeated with a crooked grin. "It will be interesting to see where they go from here but it will be a good test over the weekend," he said. “I'm glad I got 18 holes in these conditions because the course has definitely changed a lot from yesterday morning to this afternoon. I'm a little better prepared for that tomorrow.” Saturday Start Times for the 2022 PGA Tour Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill Ryan Brehm takes a 36-hole lead at the Puerto Rico Open Lynch toward his first PGA Tour win: He might be able to lead Europe's Ryder Cup hopes, but this rising star is getting a PGA Tour tutorial

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Top 5 potential landing spots for Dallas Cowboys WR Amari Cooper

The Dallas Cowboys are at a standoff with Amari Cooper, potentially causing the wide receiver to go out of town. Several franchises should strive to acquire a new number ... (Author: Gardener)

DallasThe Dallas Cowboys are at a standoff with Amari Cooper, potentially causing the wide receiver to go out of town. Cooper's $22 million salary cap, including a $20 million fully guaranteed kicker, for the 2022 campaign is problematic. The Cowboys are $21.2 million over the projected salary cap, according to Spotrac. By hitting the four-time Pro Bowl goal, the Cowboys can save $16 million in one fell swoop. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported that the Cowboys will "probably" fire Cooper early in the new league year (March 16). CBS Sports' Josina Anderson added it was a "possibility" with "a lot of moving parts." NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said he believes Cooper is completely "done" with the Cowboys and that they could try to trade him before they just let him go. The accounts differ slightly, but the message remains the same: Cooper and the Cowboys could be headed for a divorce. Admittedly, the public nature of the potential contract dispute signals a leverage ploy by the Cowboys to restructure Cooper's current deal and gain some salary cap relief. The wide receiver and his stand-in could hold steady, however, as they don't have to settle for a potentially robust market that awaits should the Cowboys pull the trigger. Five organizations with salary caps and varying needs for wide receivers jump to the fore immediately. Much like Cooper and the Cowboys, Jarvis Landry and the Cleveland Browns appear to be parting ways immediately. Landry opened up about his current situation on social media, revealing that he sustained serious injuries last season and that he would like to remain in Cleveland, although his status is entirely dependent on the team. The wide receiver turns 30 later this year and his salary cap exceeds $16 million. Even if both sides agree on a restructured contract to keep Landry on the team, wide receiver is clearly the biggest need in the Browns' roster. Donovan Peoples-Jones led the roster with 597 receiving yards last season. With the organization planning to move forward this fall with Baker Mayfield as the starting quarterback, general manager Andrew Berry's primary goal offseason is to add pieces around the position to maximize the potential of the 2018 No. 1 overall pick. Cooper would immediately add another dynamic as a threat, despite also struggling with a couple of nagging injuries last season. Expect Cleveland to make a splash with some sort of wide receiver acquisition either through free agency or the draft. The Miami Dolphins aren't jumping up as a potential landing spot for Cooper because they just invested a top-10 pick in Jaylen Waddle and also have DeVante Parker on the list. However, Parker's injury history is a concern given that he only played a full season once in his seven-year career. Parker still finished third on the team with 515 receiving yards (behind Waddle and tight end Mike Gesicki), and no other receiver had 225 receiving yards. Interestingly, Cooper can join his Alabama peers in waddle and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. The veteran wide receiver hasn't played with either during his Crimson Tide career, but he sure knows both through the program. The allure of going home to play with the dolphins that are full of potential should be appealing. The Dolphins also hold the league's highest salary cap at $61.2 million. The perfect confluence of factors could collide in Miami's favor to woo a key threat in Mike McDaniel's new offensive plan. The NFL's worst team won't be a popular target for many of the best free agents available. But a wide receiver needs to evaluate his options. In Cooper's case, the Jaguars offer an opportunity to maximize his potential on and off the field. Any skill position player should evaluate a team's quarterback situation to see if the talent behind the center is able to maximize their abilities. Lawrence might not have looked like the No. 1 overall slam dunk winner during his rookie campaign, but those issues ran much deeper than simple first-year bouts. The second-year signal caller should thrive when enabled to succeed. The Jaguars lack a true No. 1 option in the passing game, so Cooper would immediately demand a significant goal share. Financially, as a young team in transition, the Jaguars have the most financial flexibility in the league. The franchise holds the third-highest spot for salary caps at $56.1 million. Cooper can cash in, play with one of the game's most exciting young quarterbacks, and even return to his home state. The Bears have more than enough salary cap room at $25.7 million to take on Cooper on the open market. You can do so with the excitement of selling Justin Fields' future with the franchise. Fields is another young quarterback whose rookie season didn't quite go to plan due to a bad situation. What the team lacks is a decent offensive personnel infrastructure. Darnell Mooney is an excellent young wide receiver. As a sophomore, he led the Bears in 81 receptions for 1,055 yards last season. No other Bears wide receiver managed more than 410 receiving yards. While Allen Robinson II is a more than capable target when he's healthy, he's also an upcoming free agent and the wide receiver is "eager" to test the market, according to the Chicago Tribune's Brad Biggs. A duo of Cooper and Mooney, along with an improved offensive line to keep Fields upright, would make the Bears a dangerous team in the NFC. Given that Luke Getsy, who has served as the Green Bay Packers' passing coordinator for the past two seasons, is Chicago's new offensive game caller, Cooper can step into the situation knowing the offensive scheme will be set up to accommodate his top- Recipients highlighted by Davante Adams' average of 159 goals over the past two seasons. The Detroit Lions are linked to every available wide receiver for having the league's worst set of goals last season. To his credit, Amon-Ra St. Brown exceeded expectations as a rookie with 90 receptions for 912 yards that led the team. But St. Brown was a fourth-round pick for a reason, and the Lions need a lot more juice when they receive threats. St. Brown was to be Detroit's long-term slot option. But the Lions need to find receivers who can create discrepancies and force coverage to roll their way, creating more opportunities for everyone else. The Lions' most dynamic threat is T.J. Hockenson. As such, the Lions' search for wide receiver help to open up the entire offense should be extensive. Detroit is a tough sell for a player of Cooper's caliber. At the same time, the lions exceeded expectations last season. However, they have played hard every week and it is obvious that they are well trained. Someone like Cooper, risking the franchise and its employees, would go a long way toward elevating the organization's status. The Lions will need to play for Cooper's services if/when he becomes available.

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Cowboys owner Jerry Jones skips NFL combine appearance due to 'medical issues'

Jerry Jones' protracted sit-down with select Dallas media representatives on the Cowboys' giant team-branded tour bus parked on the side of the road in Indianapolis has become one of the mainstays of the NFL scouting combine. The billionaire who never shies away from a hot mic... (Author: Gardener)

NFLOct 3, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA; Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Jones on the field before the game against the Carolina Panthers at AT&T Stadium. Jerry Jones' protracted sit-down with select Dallas media figures in the Cowboys' giant team-branded tour bus parked on the side of the road in Indianapolis has become one of the mainstays of the NFL scouting combine. Never one to shy away from a hot mic, the billionaire owner usually opens the word and covers a wide range of topics with his quirky wit, making his combine a headline event even when the Who's Who of the entire league walks around the county town. Jones, 79, will not speak to reporters due to a "medical issue" at this year's combine, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Jerry Jones will not be speaking to the Dallas media at the NFL Scouting Combine due to a medical issue. — Todd Archer (@toddarcher) March 4, 2022 He took on the task of speaking to the media Monday as a team member and over 300 college employees The prospects for the Combine just descended on the Indiana capital. In a one-on-one interview with a Dallas-based NBC reporter, Jones claimed it was "in the organization's best interest" to reach a confidential $2.4 million settlement with four cheerleaders after the ex-PR man was accused of spying on them to have a dressing room. Earlier on Jan. 28, Jones made an unscheduled call to a Dallas radio station to clear the air about his team's coaching staff. That Jones took Heat for his tone in both interviews certainly comes to mind when it's revealed he won't be speaking to a roomful of reporters in Indianapolis this week. Both of the above-mentioned topics have also come up with other Cowboys representatives in the last few days. On Monday, Stephen Jones was asked about the ESPN report on the cheerleading agreement; He responded by saying, "I think Jerry brought it up, and I really have nothing to add." And during a Tuesday news conference, McCarthy was asked about the rumors that Sean Payton was raring to become the next Cowboys coach. McCarthy told the media, "It's a narrative I don't want to be a part of." Jones himself doesn't appear to be faced with direct questions about those items or any other Cowboys-related topic at the combine this week. Jerry Jones also handles some NFL deals involving commissioner Roger Goodell, a source said, which also prevents him from attending Indy. — Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) March 4, 2022 While it's unknown what medical condition is preventing Jerry Jones from coming forward to reporters in Indianapolis, ESPN notes that he was present at a press conference Wednesday to announce an upcoming boxing event in the Promote AT&T Stadium. The Dallas Morning News' Calvin Watkins and Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Clarence Hill Jr. both report that Jones is also working on an undisclosed project with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell that is keeping him from making his usual gig. Stephen Jones tells Hill his dad "will be okay". Bye, 19: Amari Cooper likely won't return to Cowboys McCarthy cites Cowboys penalty assessments as a top focus for 2022, but bad luck contributed to '21 NFL Combine: Top 10 Marks of All Time in Every Exercise

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Jerry Jones skips the media session due to a medical issue

The Cowboys have informed us that Jones, 78, will miss his usual session due to a "minor medical issue". (Author: Gardener)

Jerry JonesINDIANAPOLIS - After a year-long hiatus, the NFL's future stars are here in Indianapolis to show off their skills, speed and wits at the NFL Scouting Combine. But among the "stars" not making the usual media "on the bus" appearance is team owner Jerry Jones. The Cowboys have informed us that Jones, 78, will skip his usual session due to a "minor medical issue." The Cowboys have informed us that Jones, 78, will skip his usual session due to a "minor medical issue." "While we hope for Jones' full health, we also look forward to him finally sharing his thoughts on a number of headline-grabbing Cowboys issues. Oh, and of course that combine and the NFL draft. Last season, rookies have had an immediate impact on the Dallas Cowboys and across the league. Now the Cowboys are trying to find their "next Micah Parsons," their "next CeeDee Lamb," and their "next Trevon Diggs" in Indy via a) safety, b) defensive end, c) tight end, and d) offensive line. When we add e) receivers...it suddenly looks like the Cowboys have a lot of holes'' are also linked to the Dallas free-agent group. The Cowboys must work their way through Amari Cooper's contract before nailing it down. Dallas has found gold in back-to-back designs to set the franchise up for a bright future. CeeDee Lamb, the 17th pick in the 2020 draft, led the Cowboys in receptions, yards and yards per catch en route to his first Pro Bowl of the season. Parsons, the 12th pick in 2021, dominated opposing attacks with his versatility that earned him defensive rookie of the year. The Cowboys hold the 24th pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, which begins April 28. In a pivotal offseason, Dallas has to make big decisions at liberty and has six traditional draft picks (plus one predicted compensatory pick). Will Dallas add players who can contribute right away? The Cowboys appear to have everything on paper to compete again in 2022. By the way, the 2023 combine could be in Dallas; after bids from Los Angeles, Indianapolis and "Dallas" - although of course the Cowboys are technically grounded in Frisco and in Arlington - in view of next year's combine. But first things first, we're not saying Dallas should or will draft for needs.” We simply state that Stephen Jones recognizes those needs. And we look forward to a time soon when a healthy Jerry Jones can do the same.

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Cowboys don't have to copy Rams, but they should learn from their success

It feels like ancient history now, the story of how Jerry and Stephen Jones almost got together in 1995's The Mansion at Turtle Creek when the younger Jones... (Author: Gardener)

RamsIt feels like ancient history now, the tale of how Jerry and Stephen Jones nearly got together in 1995's The Mansion at Turtle Creek when the younger Jones realized his father was about to pay an exorbitant salary to save Deion Sanders evicted from San Francisco. It was a contract that, along with others, landed the Cowboys in salary cap prison at the end of the decade. After losing that particular fight, Stephen's steady hand has won many battles with All-in Jerry over the years, including future Hall of Famer Zack Martin's famous draft against Johnny Manziel. Patience is great when it comes to raising teenagers or anticipating the start of baseball season, but this is not the time for the Dallas Cowboys. In 2022 -- or at least March 2022 -- the club needs a little more guidance from its part-time boxing promoter/owner and a little less from its bottom-line-focused executive vice president. Dallas is coming off a 12-5 season that certainly ended in disappointment against San Francisco, but was also their best regular season since 2016. Back then the club was going 13-3 and Dak and Zeke were rookies and the future looked rosier than the West End Zone glare at AT&T Stadium. And that's also when the Cowboys decided, with what they consider reasonable caution, and others would call a degree of idiocy -- cutting the cord with three starters in secondary and hoping 2017 with their rookie - To be able to live alternatively. But almost all of their substitute draft capital (not to mention Taco Charlton) combined with Ezekiel Elliott's off-field drama and suspension saw the club fall to 9-7. As of last season, the Cowboys had never won more than 10 games. The current attrition in the NFC -- no more Tom Brady in Tampa Bay, maybe no Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, a championship Rams team that hasn't left room for off-season additions -- should see the Cowboys face 2022 seem to be approaching. When exactly does this club hope to hit the playoff wins that are expected to come with a $40 million annual salary? Instead, we hear Stephen Jones suggest that either wide receiver Amari Cooper or DeMarcus Lawrence (or maybe but not likely both) could be too expensive. They are the star players this team could fire (very soon in Cooper's case and in June in Lawrence's case) to save up dollars for the salary cap and continue the Cowboys' austerity program that at least part of the front office believes it is is the desired goal. It must irk Cowboys fans when Stephen Jones says that about the Rams. “Certainly they've done it by pushing a lot of chips out. He speaks as if to say, "Yes, LA won a Super Bowl, but at what cost?" The Rams don't have a pick until the fifth round next month, though they'll likely get a late third as a level pick. They haven't had a first-round pick in the past five years, and they don't have one in 2023 either. But they've played in two of the last four Super Bowls and are getting rings this year. I have to think this feels a lot like winning. Honestly, the cowboys, with their tip-toe approach, aren't even as efficient as they'd like you to believe. The Rams may be $13 million over the cap, but the Cowboys are $21 million over. Only the Saints and Packers have more to do with player contracts or layoffs than Dallas. We all know the Cowboys can spread money across the contracts of players who aren't going anytime soon, starting with Prescott, and getting where they need to be. Cowboys fans don't want to hear about the 2024 budget Jones mentioned earlier this week. Dallas wasn't far from the top last year, and the uncertain quarterback situations surrounding the conference suggest a possible opener if only this team gets the offseason right. The last time the Cowboys this good management decided to retire. For more Cowboys coverage from The Dallas Morning News, click here.

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The Dallas Cowboys are trending to release four-time Pro Bowl WR Amari Cooper

The Cowboys offense could be on the cusp of a big change as Dallas appears poised to pull away from four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper. (Author: Gardener)

DallasINDIANAPOLIS -- The Amari Cooper era began suddenly when the Cowboys traded a first-round draft pick at the close in October 2018 to acquire the wide receiver. The Cowboys are poised to fire the four-time Pro Bowler before his $20 million salary is guaranteed on March 20, a person with knowledge of the team's plans confirmed to USA Today Sports on Friday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to make the information public. There remains time for negotiations to be postponed with "nothing definite yet," another person with knowledge confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity in the absence of a formal decision. Dallas Cowboys' Amari Cooper #19 runs with the ball in the first quarter of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on January 08, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From NFL games to college sports scores, all the top sports news you need to know every day. But the Cowboys lack enough money to keep all of their guns. Forgoing Cooper's high expenses would support compliance with the salary cap. Cooper's tenure at Dallas was productive, if at times contradictory and enigmatic. He participated in 56 games from 54 starts and caught 292 balls for 3,893 yards and 27 touchdowns. But in 2021, as the Cowboys' receiving stable deepened, justifying Cooper's production relative to his cap, justified two years after a $100 million extension, turned somber. Sophomore CeeDee Lamb led the Cowboys in 2021 with 1,102 yards and six touchdowns. Cooper rushed for 865 yards and eight touchdowns and missed two games after contracting COVID-19 without being vaccinated. The Cowboys' viable options continued, with tight end Dalton Schultz rushing for 808 yards and eight touchdowns while receiver Cedrick Wilson had 602 yards and six points. Eight players had received multiple touchdowns. That work, coupled with Schultz, Wilson and Gallup poised to meet the free hand, could further prevent the Cowboys from raising $20 million. "I know maybe you guys are targeting people that you think we're looking at, and they're usually the guys that are making a lot of money," Stephen Jones, the Cowboys' executive vice president, said Monday of the NFL Scouting Combine. "It's part of making money. Zeke's "Money is guaranteed," Stephen told us. We're lucky to have him." On Amari with 2022 Cowboys: "It's too early for me to address that. What could Cooper's release mean for the rest of the Dallas free agency landscape? Schultz could be a candidate for franchise tag or long-term renewal, the Cowboys are aware the tight end is their skinniest position. Tight end Blake Jarwin underwent offseason hip surgery with serious consequences, multiple people with knowledge of the procedure confirmed to USA TODAY Sports on Thursday. Jarwin's 2022 future depends on medical decisions, but Cowboys Brass this week discussed the depth of the space without including it in the top three options available. Gallup could also benefit if Cooper leaves. The 2018 third-round draft pick missed eight games in 2021 while first struggling with a calf injury and later tearing her cruciate ligament. He underwent surgery to repair the tear on February 11 and remains in rehabilitation. However, should Gallup fully recover, Cooper's departure "definitely opens the door for a bigger role that we think he can fill," a person familiar with the team's plans told USA TODAY Sports. The person spoke on condition of anonymity due to the fluidity of the situation. Teammates endorsed Cooper's return, with Lamb telling USA TODAY Sports that he believed the team needed the crisp-routed veteran. "We honestly do," Lamb told USA TODAY Sports on Feb. 10. I hope they understand that after we have him back: we need at least two (top receivers) out there." Lamb said he tried not to discuss the deal with Cooper as Cooper was "insane with the situation ( and) the stress it brings him". "It was a lot for him," Lamb said. Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy was asked Tuesday if the Cowboys really could be a better team in 2022 without Cooper's production and blocking of running under the radar. "We have to be a better team no matter what the outcome," McCarthy said. My first two years in Green Bay as a head coach, standing up there answering business questions about your players, you can't form an opinion. I want all players to be paid as much as possible and we wouldn't have any money if it were up to me. This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dallas Cowboys Tend to Cover Four-time Pro Bowl WR Amari Cooper

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As Ukrainians flee, 'we even feel a little guilty, we're fine'

MEDYKA, Poland (AP) - Walked the last 14 miles to the Ukrainian border and safely,... (Author: Gardener)

UkrainiansPeople who have left Ukraine wait for a bus that will take them to the Przemysl train station at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Friday March 4, 2022. A woman fleeing Ukraine looks out of a bus window as she arrives at an emergency shelter operated by the municipality and the Baptist Foundation in Tiszabecs, Hungary, Friday March 4, 2022. A woman pushes a baby carriage as people from the Ukraine arriving at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland on Friday, March 4, 2022. Zlata, the three and a half year old who is fleeing the conflict in neighboring Ukraine and has painted her face in the colors of the Ukrainian flag, stands at the Romanian-Ukrainian border in Siret, Romania, Thursday, March 3, 2022. Refugees fleeing the Fleeing conflict from neighboring country Ukraine exits a tent at the Romanian-Ukrainian border in Siret, Romania on Thursday, March 3, 2022. The number of people fleeing Ukraine in the wake of Russia's invasion surpassed 1 million on Wednesday, the fastest refugee exodus this century, the United Nations said, as Russian forces continued their bombardment of the country's second-largest city, Kharkiv. advanced and laid siege to two strategic seaports. The number of people fleeing Ukraine's Russian invasion surpassed 1 million on Wednesday, the fastest refugee exodus this century, the United Nations said, as Russian forces resumed their bombardment of the country's second-largest city, Kharkiv. continued and besieged two strategic seaports. Members of the Portuguese Red Cross prepare cots in a sports hall converted to temporarily house Ukrainian refugees arriving in Lisbon on Thursday March 3, 2022. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says 1 million people have fled Ukraine since the Russian invasion less than a week ago. A child fleeing Ukraine fills in a drawing with a colored pencil at an emergency shelter run by the Church and Baptist Foundation in Tiszabecs, Hungary, on Friday, March 4, 2022, in Tiszabecs, Hungary. A woman with a baby arrives from Ukraine at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Friday, March 4, 2022. A young girl receives food at the border crossing in Medyka, Poland, Friday, March 4, 2022. More than 1 million people are after the Invaded by Russia, refugees have fled Ukraine in the fastest train this century, the United Nations said on Thursday. More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine after Russia's invasion, the fastest refugee exodus this century, the United Nations said on Thursday. More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine after Russia's invasion, the fastest refugee exodus this century, the United Nations said on Thursday. More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine after Russia's invasion, the fastest refugee exodus this century, the United Nations said on Thursday. More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine after Russia's invasion, the fastest refugee exodus this century, the United Nations said on Thursday. More than 1 million people have fled Ukraine after Russia's invasion, the fastest refugee exodus this century, the United Nations said on Thursday. A firefighter helps refugees fleeing the conflict from neighboring Ukraine at the Romanian-Ukrainian border in Siret, Romania, Friday March 4, 2022. This could become the "biggest refugee crisis of this century," according to the U. MEDYKA , Poland (AP) — As Ludmila Sokol walked the last 22 kilometers to the Ukrainian border and to safety, she was moved by the mountains of clothes and other personal belongings that many people had thrown away as they fled the fighting in front of her. "You should have seen things scattered on the street," said the physical education teacher from Zaporizhia. Like more than 1 million others, she struggles with the pain of leaving it all behind. Sokol has found a home in Paris with her former gymnastics coach, a "second mother" she met as a child. Your host tied a homemade Ukrainian flag to a fishing rod to wave in a small gesture of defiance at Russia's invasion. The number of refugees who have fled Ukraine has now reached 1.2 million, the International Organization for Migration said on Friday. The number of refugees who have fled Ukraine has now reached 1.2 million, the International Organization for Migration said on Friday. This could become the "biggest refugee crisis of this century," the UN said, predicting as many as 4 million people could leave. N. said and predicted that up to 4 million people could go. The European Union decided on Thursday to grant temporary protection and residence permits to people fleeing Ukraine. N. refugee chief Filipo Grandi told The Associated Press during a visit to a border crossing in Moldova. A refugee newly arrived in Romania, Anton Kostyuchyk, fought back tears as he described leaving everything, including his parents, behind in Kyiv and sleeping in churches with his wife and three children while fleeing. “I am leaving my homeland, my country. At a refugee camp in Siret, Romania, volunteers and rescue workers paused to host a birthday party for a 7-year-old Ukrainian girl, complete with cake, balloons and singing. Children's Agency N. said that half a million children in Ukraine had to flee their homes in the first week of the Russian invasion, but did not say how many left the country. In the small village of Uszka, Hungary, Pastor Edgar Kovacs opened the only room in his church to refugees. It was quickly filled with 29 members of a Roma family from Didova, Ukraine. "I have a large family and when we heard about what happened next door on the news, our hearts started beating faster. And my whole family and I tried to help,” the pastor said. And she was shot, unfortunately she is now dead,” said Vladislav Stoyka, a doctor from Kyiv who was on vacation in Slovakia when he woke up on the day of the Russian invasion looking for a fugitive. He said the woman who was killed was a pediatrician. Father of alleged victim in Demond Demas case accused of attacking Texas A&M receiver "A lot of people also go to Bratislava, to Prague, to Germany," said Mihail Aleksa, a Slovak Red Cross volunteer. "Very importantly, if they have a passport, they can now go almost anywhere in Europe for free." In the Netherlands, 50 refugees arrived in Waddinxveen on Friday, where Mayor Evert Jan Nieuwenhuis told local broadcaster Omroep West he was happy that the city can help, "even if it's just a drop in the bucket." But many find a new home far away from Europe. More than 80 people, including Ukrainian family members, arrived in Mexico City early Friday after a 23-hour flight. And we even feel a little guilty that we're okay knowing that our relatives are in a bunker right now," said one evacuee, Alba Becerra. "My son's father is in a basement, my daughter-in-law's parents are also in a bunker, all in Ukraine." At the Medyka border post with Poland, 65-year-old Katarzyna Gordyczuk boarded a bus preparing to return. She had come with her grandchildren but would be going back to join the rest of her family. "I left my farm, husband and children who are still in Ukraine," she said. Their bus home was almost empty.

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Why can't the wretched Lakers be more like the gutty Clippers?

LeBron James called the Clippers "a better team" after beating the Lakers Thursday night. He's right, but the most important question is: 'Why?' (Author: Gardener)

ClippersLakers forward LeBron James expressed dissatisfaction with a referee's call late in Thursday's game against the Clippers at Crypto.com Arena. Why can't the Lakers be more like the Clippers? And there were many, including a 132-111 game by the Clippers on Thursday that gave the Lakers' not-long-term housemates a glimpse of the teams' four-game season streak in the Crypto.com arena. But why couldn't the Lakers reunite after losing Anthony Davis to a sprained ankle as the reportedly less talented Clippers have united since Kawhi Leonard had knee surgery last July and Paul George suffered a torn ligament in his right elbow in December ? Why were the Lakers (27-35) such easy prey not only for the Clippers, who were led by Reggie Jackson's game-high 36 points and +44 plus/minus on Thursday, but also for wannabe playoff teams like New Orleans and Portland? The Lakers have played 62 games and played 31 lineups this season. The Clippers have used the same lineup in each of their last eight games. They're 7-1 in that span that began when Norman Powell broke a bone in his left foot in all three games of his Clipper career. "I mean, they're a better team," LeBron James said Thursday. But that doesn't explain why the Clippers (34-31, eighth in the West) were better or why they were able to overcome adversity while the Lakers are still a hot, steaming mess on either end of the floor and could earn a play-in spot with four teams losing, giving the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth place finishers in each conference an undeserved shot at making the playoffs. "Beating this team four times means a lot about what we're trying to do, what we're building," said Clippers coach Tyronn Lue. "It was a great win for us because with a 3-0 lead this year, I didn't expect in game four to win by such a big margin." Jackson called Lue "the best coach in the league." and he has a good case considering how much Lue has gotten from so little. That's not meant to disparage Frank Vogel, but the defensive identity Vogel coaxed players into during the Lakers' 2020 bubble championship run has collapsed in a hailstorm of turnovers, errors and line-up changes that have taken the Lakers from one team into a bunch of all -Stars who were too far past their prime to muster the energy and effort required for a solid defense. Vogel hasn't helped his case much with some odd rotations and staying in an underworld between big and small lineups. But it's easier to fire coaches than players and it would be a shock to see Vogel return next season. "Obviously defensively this year it's been a challenge for us and we've had a lot of breakdowns and we've lost a lot of games because our defense has collapsed," said James. "But sometimes it was also because of our offensive. Your offense can help your defense. You take bad shots, or you turn the ball around, or you take a good shot but it's a long rebound and you don't get balance on the ground and you don't come back, that can also affect your defense." Lue, who is 7-0 against the Lakers as Clippers coach has kept his team afloat despite losing Leonard and George, which is no small feat. He was able to retain a slight touch, as he did Thursday as the Lakers started a 14-0 run to end the first half and cut a 17-point Clipper lead to 66-63 . In fact, Jackson said, Lue was calm and smiling as he told his players they were in a great place. "When we stop flipping the ball, we're in a great place," Jackson recalled of Lue. Seeing Lue wasn't angry — and knowing he was right — helped the Clippers open the third quarter with a 26-2 push that turned into a 40-18 lead in the quarter. "Not just me, but our veteran players, our coaching staff, we're doing a good job of making sure we stay loose and having fun, but also doing business and doing it right," said Lue. “It was a struggle when we first lost PG because your offense is mostly based on Kawhi and PG and then you have to figure out how to score. “I think we struggled in the first 12 games where we went 87, 83. We struggled to score but once we were able to get a set rotation and understand how we needed to play we knew PG was going to be out for a while we understood how we needed to play, and these guys got into it. The louder they are and the more they play every night, the more they practice, which gets our youngsters to line up. "We understand that we've brought boys down, we know what the media will say sometimes," Jackson said , "but for us, honestly, we're just trying to do something special with this group." Lue called the Lakers "a really good team." He added, "They just have to figure out how they want to play, but they also have to figure out their health situation." Here's a tip for how the Lakers should play: With the strength, energy and faith that the Clippers have in this one have shown consistently throughout the season.

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Watch the cast's new Lakers series from HBO compare them to their real-life counterparts

If you like basketball, there's a good chance you'll be hooked on HBO's Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. (Author: Gardener)

HBOIf you like basketball, there's a good chance you'll be hooked on HBO's Winning Time: The Rise of the Lakers Dynasty. The drama is a dark comedy that offers a glimpse into the rise of the Lakers dynasty in the early 1980s. It also has the makings of a fantastic historical piece about Los Angeles. Of course, any show about Hollywood will also have a star-studded cast. It features the likes of John C. Reilly, Adrien Brody, Jason Segel, Jason Clark, Michael Chiklis, Gillian Jacobs and Wood Harris. But several other actors, including former University of California basketball player Solomon Hughes, will be making their television debuts with this show. The series debuts Sunday, March 6 at 9 p.m. Easter time. Take a look at the cast below, then compare the actors to their real-life counterparts. RELATED: Watch the amazing debut trailer for HBO's new Lakers series Jerry Buss (played by John C. Reilly) Jerry West (Jason Clarke) Magic Johnson (Quincy Isaiah) Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Dr. Solomon Hughes ) Norm Nixon (DeVaughn Nixon) Earvin Johnson Sr. (Rob Morgan) Chick Hearn (Spencer Garrett) Donald Sterling (Kirk Bovill) Jeanie Buss (Hadley Robinson) Michael Cooper (Delante Desouza) Pat Riley (Adrien Brody)‌ Chris Riley (Gillian Jacobs) David Stern (Andy Hirsch) Paul Westhead (Jason Segel) Bill Sharman (Brett Cullen) Richard Pryor (Mike Epps) Debbie Allen (Ta'Nika Gibson) Adrian Dantley (Terence Davis) Spencer Haywood (Wood Harris) Red Auerbach (Michael Chiklis) Jerry Tarkanian (Rory Cochrane) Share Share Share Share Share Share Share Share Share Share Share Share Share Share Share Share Share Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Picture Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery Gallery Gal lery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery gallery on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Facebook on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter on Twitter via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via SMS via email via email via email via email via email via email via email via email via email via email via email via email v via email via email via email via email via Email https://ftw.usatoday.com/ gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly -adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson- actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/ hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien -brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show- john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https ://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo- lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-sails-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-sh ow-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason -segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw .usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic -johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show- john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel -magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday .com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson -Actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john- c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reil ly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson -actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason -segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery /hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw .usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly- adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hbo -lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday .com/gallery/hbo-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien- brody-jason-segel-magic-johnson-actor https://ftw.usatoday.com/gallery/hb o-lakers-show-john-c-reilly-adrien-brody-jason -sail-magic-johnson-actor

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Reggie Jackson, Clippers demolish Lakers to sweep relay series

Jackson has a season-high 36 points ahead of him with nine assists and eight rebounds as the Clippers win 4-0 over their rivals in a 132-111 win. (Author: Gardener)

ClippersLOS ANGELES -- So many times have the Clippers struggled to fend off the Laker invaders in the stands of their own home games. But on Thursday night, the Crypto.com Arena belonged to the Clippers — more specifically, Reggie Jackson, who had the charismatic appeal of a rock star giving his final encore. Jackson was already at his peak of the season when fans started chanting to him, “REG-GIE! REG-GIE!” And twice the bespectacled guard was obligated, sinking a 3-pointer over LeBron James and finishing a hard layup in the heart of the Lakers defense – which admittedly hadn't shown much backbone for most of the evening. "We just want to build something special here," Jackson said. "I appreciate the chants, but more importantly, I appreciate the way our fanbase comes out and supports the entire Clipper Nation. The result was close through a half. There were a handful of dunks and blocked shots and all the other high points one would expect in a true rivalry game between evenly matched opponents. And with a dramatic surge in the third quarter, the Clippers -- even without Kawhi Leonard, Paul George or Norman Powell -- provided a reminder of why they beat the Lakers seven straight times. Jackson flapped, Ivica Zubac hammered, and the Lakers (27-35) wobbled after a 132-111 loss to the Clippers that didn't just decide who called the shots in L. The Clippers have now five straight games and won seven of their last eight, battling against all odds to try and avoid the play-in tournament. They have won every game of in-arena rivalry (7-0) since Tyronn Lue became their head coach. The Lakers, on the other hand, have now lost 11 of 14 overall and four in a row since the All-Star break -- even if they make the play-in tournament, it seems inevitable that significant organizational changes will follow at the end of the season. A 40-18 Clippers run in the third quarter turned a 3-point play into a loss at halftime. Within that framework, the Clippers scored 23 unanswered points over more than five minutes, starting with a Marcus Morris Sr. vaulter and ending with a layup by Jackson. Jackson, in particular, was a threat as he hit nine of his season bests of 36 points during the landmark rally while also notching nine assists and eight rebounds. In that crucial stretch, the Lakers missed 10 consecutive shots and had two turnovers. Although coach Frank Vogel reduced the lineup early in the third quarter, they all failed shots at once: Among the misses were three looks at the rim. Team top stars James and Russell Westbrook combined just 15-to-34 shooting for 43 points. It had taken a furious rally from the Lakers to wrap things up. They were down 17 in the second quarter after notoriously slow starts in the first half, particularly on defence. The Clippers made seven of their first eight 3-pointers, a testament to both Jackson's and Luke Kennard's sharp shots and the inattention of the Lakers' defense. Out of nowhere, the Lakers put together a 14-0 rally highlighted by alley-oop dunks from Westbrook and Malik Monk (both without Austin Reaves assists). "There are tracks where we really play," said Westbrook. James had 18 points at halftime but only scored eight for the rest of the evening. For the game, the Clippers shot 54.8% from the field, including 17 to 27 from 3-point range. But more than any statistic, the pride of claiming the floor in the home arena this season has been the brightest spot. Said Jackson, "I never put a cap on anything."

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