McCollum, Pelicans roll to a 123-95 win over the tumbling Lakers

The 28-point winning margin is the largest in Pelicans franchise history over the Lakers, surpassing their 139-117 win in 2018. McCollum has six straight games with 20 points. He averaged 28 points in his seven games with the... (Author: Gardener)

PelicansNew Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes takes a dive during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday, February 27, 2022 in Los Angeles. LOS ANGELES (AP) -- CJ McCollum scored 22 points, Jonas Valanciunas and Brandon Ingram each added 19 and the New Orleans Pelicans rolled to a 123-95 win over the tumbling Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday night. The 28-point winning margin is the largest in Pelicans franchise history over the Lakers, surpassing their 139-117 win in 2018. McCollum has six straight games with 20 points. He has averaged 28 points in his seven games with the Pelicans since being acquired from Portland on Feb. 8. He had nine points in the third quarter as New Orleans put on a 26-7 run lasting more than four minutes to end the game. New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum, right, shoots while Los Angeles Lakers guard Austin Reaves defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, February 27, 2022 in Los Angeles. Valanciunas also had 10 rebounds for his 37th double-double of the season, which ranks third in the NBA. Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook runs into the corner of the court prior to an NBA basketball game against the New Orleans Pelicans Sunday, February 27, 2022 in Los Angeles. Ingram, who played three seasons for the Lakers, also had eight assists. He had six points in the last six minutes of the first half as the Pelicans started a 17-4 run to take a 51-37 lead with 35 seconds left. LeBron James put a 3-pointer on subsequent possession to draw the Lakers 51-40 at halftime. James led the Lakers with 32 points and Russell Westbrook added 16. Los Angeles has lost back-to-back and five of its last six to fall 27-33 in its worst six games of the season under .500. Los Angeles Lakers forward Stanley Johnson, left, shoots while Los Angeles Lakers center Dwight Howard defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, February 27, 2022 in Los Angeles. The Lakers have committed 23 turnovers, 16 of them in the first half. Los Angeles' night could be summed up in the third quarter when DeAndre Jordan threw a cross-court pass that hit a front-row fan along the baseline. Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, shoots while New Orleans Pelicans guard CJ McCollum defends during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, February 27, 2022 in Los Angeles. Fans in the arena voiced their displeasure with most of the boos in the second half. Pelicans: New Orleans has won five straight road games, the fifth since the team moved from Charlotte in 2002. Lakers: Dwight Howard finished the tournament with 11 rebounds. Midway through the second quarter, he averaged 10,400 career defensive rebounds. Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook, center, shoots as New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes, left, and forward Herbert Jones defend during the first half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, February 27, 2022, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. (AP Photo/Mark J. (AP Photo/Mark J. (AP Photo/Mark J.


Lakers' Austin Reaves is being adjusted to the starting role

Vogel has said he would have a starting role for Lakers after the All-Star break. (Author: Gardener)

Austin ReavesLOS ANGELES — For a time, Austin Reaves had reason to wonder if fate was keeping him from making the starting XI. Coach Frank Vogel had told him twice that he would probably be in the starting XI. The second time in December - after his game-winning shot in Dallas - he was a late scratch due to the NBA's COVID-19 protocols and missed seven straight games. When Vogel stopped by again to tell him he'd be a starter for the Lakers after the All-Star break, Reaves may have been a little spooked about what might happen to him next. But the third time it went as it should: The 23-year-old made his first career start, going 2 for 4 with 6 points and 3 assists. "Not many people thought I would be in this situation initially," he said. Hopefully I have a lot more progress and a lot of years to play.” While Reaves downplayed it, he also got some measure of redemption in a sequence where he guarded Reggie Jackson, who won the February 3 basket against him scored This time, Reaves expected the spin to move and grabbed Jackson's shot, then chased it down to pin him at the baseline. While an injury to Avery Bradley Reaves has opened up a starting spot, what Vogel likes about the 6ft-5 guard is that he's not as vulnerable on defense as opponents seem to think. While Vogel said Reaves could improve, he also trusted the team's lone rookie enough to start him again Sunday night against the Pelicans. "He's got great length and great feet and he's really frantic and tough to play that kind of role," Vogel said. Analysis: LeBron James says he's committed to Lakers, does damage control at All-Star weekend Comments Lakers try to look ahead despite Anthony Davis' absence Reaves isn't the youngest Laker, but it's noticeable that he's the only player in the first year is a veteran list. Still, he was largely accepted as one of the group: Rajon Rondo was most concerned about giving Reaves so-called "rookie duties," like grabbing extra towels or making him buy a candle for his hotel room on road trips. Since Rondo was traded, Reaves said most of his errands have also gone away. Now Reaves just feels a part of things, just like he's settled into the rotation. He learns from game to game on the court. "Earlier in the year the length and the size and [the way] these guys can move was really the main thing for me to struggle with," he said. "But when you get to that point you kind of get a rhythm, you get a flow and a feel for this type of basketball and you really just have to settle down and figure out what you can do to be successful.


Lakers sink even further and are booed at home

The Lakers season hit a new low on Sunday when their 123-95 loss to the Pelicans was met by a chorus of boos from the home crowd throughout the night. (Author: Gardener)

SundayLOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers' season hit a new low on Sunday when their 123-95 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans was accompanied by a chorus of boos from the Arena audience throughout the night. The A native, who the franchise gave a complete makeover during the offseason, was asked if he would take home that kind of welcome from Lakers fans after his team lost for a ninth time in their last 12 games. "Nah," he said. I have three beautiful children in my home. Why should I take it home? Why should I take it home? Why should I take it home? If they boo, they can take their ass home. "The only answer I can give when I take them home is no. But as far as our team is concerned, I don't think we have to deal with it. Right now the Lakers are tumbling backwards, shaved off the loss to the No. 11 Pelicans reducing their lead even to a play-in spot to just 2½ games with 22 games remaining. is playing three teams higher overall this week — the Dallas Mavericks, LA Clippers, and Golden State Warriors — and then he has for the Rest of March road-heavy schedule."We had a tough stretch with Dallas, Clippers again Thursday, then Golden State on Saturday," LeBron James said. "And we've got 10 road games left this month or March so it's not going to be any easier for us were outscored 44-25 in the third quarter - when the boos were first heard from the stands - at d followed up to 32 at one point d the color is clogged and we try to push inwards - with the pass, with the jump - and that leads to a lot of turnovers," said Lakers coach Frank Vogel after his team scored 7 out of 34 of 3 (20.6%). had shot. While Westbrook again mentioned the team's championship goal — a concept that seems as far off as Anthony Davis' claim earlier in the season that LA was primed to end a 10- or 12-game winning streak at any moment — James bid one on a far meager standard to aim for. “Everything starts with a win. That's where it starts," he said when asked how L. "Try to get out of that slide and make a profit and learn from that win with things you've done well, things you've done have not done so well. So it always starts with that and how you can try and get into a situation from game to game." When asked about what to do after the loss, Vogel said the Lakers should just "flush it" and turn the page , but Westbrook pointed to a discouraging trend that doesn't seem easy to shake: "Teams come in, play harder and I think that's kind of a scouting report: just play harder than them and see what happens." "It's really easy to give up, throw in the towel and say negative things," said Westbrook "Well, I'm really at a loss for words. But we have to stay positive. I know it was a very tough season, but no.


A 28-point loss to the Pelicans!? The Lakers' problems get uglier in a boo-filled flop

The Lakers played lousy against the New Orleans Pelicans, and fans at the Arena lent an ear to the team's 123-95 loss. (Author: Gardener)

PelicansLakers center Dwight Howard (left) and New Orleans Pelicans center Jonas Valanciunas battle for a rebound in the first half of the Lakers' 123-95 loss Sunday at Arena. The Lakers woke up Saturday morning, looked at the teams behind them in the Western Conference rankings and got a glimpse of a New Orleans Pelicans team that was eyeing Los Angeles as a potential NBA Play-In tournament opponent. On Sunday, the Lakers faced the Pelicans and saw for themselves how difficult New Orleans can be. Fans in the Arena saw it, too, as they rained down boos on the lifeless Lakers in the third quarter, letting them know that their huge deficit that led to a 123-95 win over the Pelicans was unacceptable. As the final buzzer sounded, the fans booed even more as the Lakers left the court. "I think every game we get too involved with ourselves and we just don't play as hard as we can," said Russell Westbrook. “Teams come in and play harder. And I think that's kind of a scouting report, just play harder than them and see what happens and it works. As the ninth seed in the West, the Lakers now have just a 2½ game lead over the tenth seed Pelicans. The Lakers have 22 regular-season games left, two of them against the same New Orleans team that just overran Los Angeles. The Lakers lost their first two games after the All-Star break, showed no sense of urgency against the Pelicans, and fell six games under .500 (27-33). LeBron James led the Lakers by 32 points in 13-to-23 shooting, but his efforts were meaningless in a game where the Lakers trailed by as much as 32 points. James also had seven turnovers. Lakers guard Russell Westbrook (center) shoots in front of New Orleans Pelicans center Jaxson Hayes (left) and forward Herbert Jones in the first half. "I've had some terrible turnovers," said James. Westbrook had 16 points, but he was only five for 15 from the field and also had seven turnovers and only one assist. The Lakers shot just 20.6% (seven for 34) from three-point range. The boos began when James threw a cross-court pass five minutes from time in the third quarter that landed under the hands of Lakers guard Talen Horton-Tucker and out of bounds. When the Lakers called a timeout with 5:39 left, now at 75-53, the boos came again. When the Lakers went down 95-65 at the end of the third quarter, they were booed again by the fans. By the end of the game, the Lakers had 23 turnovers. "It's really easy to give up, throw in the towel and say negative things," said Dwight Howard. I know it's been a very tough season.” Their defense was torn apart, allowing the Pelicans to shoot 64% in the third. Their offense was terrible, the Lakers making just 33.3% of their shots in the third and missing all nine of their three-point attempts. The Lakers couldn't slow down the New Orleans trio of Brandon Ingram, Jonas Valanciunas and CJ McCollum. Before Ingram had 19 points, eight assists and five rebounds, Valanciunas another double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds and McCollum had 22 points, eight assists and five rebounds, Lakers coach Frank Vogel spoke enthusiastically about it. "I don't want to name names, but CJ and BI and Jonas, all three are horses," Vogel said. And I think it suits them very well. And the move to CJ playing point guard is something that's bearing fruit so far."


Lakers flop against New Orleans as home crowd boos lackluster performance

In the third quarter, the Lakers' disastrous season slipped to its lowest point on record, beating it by 19 points during that period. (Author: Gardener)

New OrleansLOS ANGELES — The unmistakable ring of disapproval has been building over the past few weeks, although the Lakers' home games haven't sold out as they once did. It reached a crescendo on Sunday night, with Lakers fans booing their own team. In the third quarter, the Lakers' disastrous season slipped to its lowest point yet, being beaten by the New Orleans Pelicans -- one of the teams they tracked in Western Conference standings -- by 19 points in the frame. Between turnstile defense, turnovers that fly all over the court, and punches up and down from their energetic guests, the Lakers were outperformed in every category. In response to the underperformance, more than a handful of the 17,536 spectators left their seats and flocked to the exits, including team owner and Governor Jeanie Buss, who left her seat in fateful third place with a few minutes to go. The 123-95 loss to the Pelicans (25-36) was important because the Lakers (27-33) are now down 9 of their last 12 games and are just 2.5 games away from making the play-in tournament to miss the NBA overall. But in it it was evident that a kind of spark, a sense of pride, had gone out for a team that was quickly being forgotten. "I don't have an answer for tonight," LeBron James said. But no replies tonight from the six-minute point of the second quarter through the third. Despite multiple pledges that they were aiming for a post-All-Star push, the Lakers got off to a slow start again and only got worse. Nothing highlighted the lack of focus and effort quite like their 22 turnovers versus just 15 team assists (seven of those assists came in the fourth quarter when the game was already out of reach). LeBron James and Russell Westbrook, the team's two top players, were the main culprits in this disgraceful statistic, with each star hitting seven rallies. While James managed to lead the Lakers by 32 points, Westbrook struggled to make other types of impact. It took him almost 43 minutes to record his first assist in garbage time, shooting 5 for 15 from the floor for 16 points. Westbrook believes opposing teams are determined to outperform the Lakers -- and it's working. "I don't want to speak for anyone else, but I think what's happened with the season, injuries and other things, the crowd that's booing today, it's a lot for people," he said. "That can be a lot for someone who isn't used to it, or it can take a toll." The Lakers' effort was disheveled early on: They fought back early in the second half, but their 16 first-half turnovers gave New Orleans an advantage. J. McCollum (22 points) and 19 points and 8 assists from former Laker Brandon Ingram lead the Pelicans 51-40 at the half. It has been typical of the Lakers lately to give up a double-digit lead before eventually sparking a comeback. New Orleans quickly amassed 16 points in the first five minutes of the second half, en route to a 44-25 blowout in the third quarter alone. After checking in for the first time in six games, DeAndre Jordan attempted a full-court outlet pass that landed well on the courts - a lowlight that was comical but represented how far the Lakers have fallen: " If it doesn't work Well, it's natural to lose your breath sometimes," said a thoughtful bird, tapping with a pencil while grimly eyeing the stat sheet. Analysis: LeBron James says he's committed to Lakers, doing damage control at All-Star weekend Comments Lakers try to look ahead despite Anthony Davis' absence James eventually turned on a shot on goal, but after the game was already out of control. The Lakers shot just 41.7 percent from the floor as a team, including 7 for 34 in threes. Anthony Davis was one of the courtside spectators, wearing a black boot on his right foot that is expected to take a month or more to heal. The Lakers have lost the two games since he was injured and are only 7-12 in the last 19 games he has missed. One of the most optimistic Lakers, Dwight Howard, spent much of his post-game press conference in long, concise pauses. "I really don't have many words," he said. I don't like looking back and saying certain things. Pretty lost (for words). “ It's a feeling that's going around at the moment.


Is Cassi's morning routine effective on "Euphoria"? Skin care experts step in

The character's 4am skincare routine involved many facial tools and multiple steps, but is it effective? (Author: Gardener)

CassiIn the second season of the HBO high school drama series Euphoria, Sydney Sweeney's character Cassie Howard wakes up at 4 a.m. every morning and goes through a grueling, multi-step beauty routine, all in hopes of winning over her best friend's ex-boyfriend. At first glance, the regime seems intense — three types of facial massagers, a futuristic-looking sheet mask, and even trimming her nose hair. However, according to skincare experts, Cassie's beauty regimen would be far more effective if she simply cut it in half. Charlotte Palermino, a licensed esthetician and CEO of skincare brand Dieux, told The Independent that she had a somewhat disturbing inner-body experience when she first saw Cassie's morning ritual. "The energy made me very uncomfortable and why she did the beauty practices, which should stand out," Palermino told us. "When you start doing beauty practices not for yourself but for someone else, it's not fun. Cassie used a wide array of beauty tools and trinkets throughout the multi-step process, including a 3D facial massage roller and a gold sculpting stick. While these tools are useful for reducing lymphatic drainage and aiding in blood flow, like Cassie, you won't get significant results from using them. "If you drink a lot of alcohol, and these teens drink a lot of alcohol, then you may have water retention and fluid buildup on your face," Palermino said. "If that happens, then yes, you're going to want a facial massage like you do every day. Her routine uses Cassie or Sweeney, as the actor revealed she brought the skincare tools from home, specifically the Jillian Dempsey Gold Sculpting Bar, which costs $195. According to Shannon Marks, a licensed esthetician and owner of Shannon Lee Esthetics in Manhattan, New York, the gold bar's vibrations mimic the effects of a massage and instantly relax facial muscles to release tension. Next in her beauty routine, Cassie uses an ice roller on her face and neck. Ice rolling has become a popular skincare hack lately because the process is simple: just roll the cold ice over your face to reduce inflammation and wake up feeling refreshed. Whether it works, Palermo said: "First and foremost, ice is rolling, it feels good. Will an ice roller knock 20 years out of your face? Jenny Patinkin's reusable sheet mask was about step a million in Cassie's 4 a.m. routine and costs $38. This organic, reusable face mask is an eco-friendly replacement for other disposable sheet masks. "The Jenny Patinkin mask is made from sustainable bamboo and can be reused with your own serums," Marks told us. It also has dual uses, as the sheet mask can be used with warm water to aid in "product absorption and improving skin's moisture retention" or chilled with cold water to "increase blood flow, reduce inflammation and improve skin's ability to retain moisture." Leaving skin looking refreshed.” While reusable sheet masks are very versatile, using them to cool her face to reduce inflammation, Cassie simply repeats the same steps already accomplished with the ice roller. "She duplicates a lot of steps," Palermino said. Each of these products is useful individually to eliminate puffiness, model and make the skin look radiant. But viewers should be warned not to take the advice of Cassie's routine, as she neglects the actual skincare products we know deliver actual anti-aging and pore-tightening results, like sunscreen, retinol, and niacinamide. "I think the products are fine individually," said Palermo. “Are they the most effective products in skin care? No. But is it really fun to use in skincare? Really, there are no rules when it comes to skincare as long as you do what works for you — even if Cassie's routine is a bit sketchy in Euphoria. However, while reflecting on the initially uncomfortable energy Cassie's skincare routine gave her, Palermino said she now prefers to think of the regimen as a coping mechanism more than anything else. "I think that's a more positive way of looking at it, that it was something she could control in a situation that she wasn't in control of, which was Nate's behavior," she said. Because what better way to feel like you have a life together than to stock up on a bunch of expensive face masks and hyaluronic acid serums and follow a multi-step skincare routine, right?


Her relatives all followed silver medalist Cassie, her Olympic brother Darcy at the Beijing Games

When Comox product Cassie Sharpe won the gold medal in the women's freeski halfpipe at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Games, CBC's Perdita Felicien captured video of Canadian fans celebrating at the finish line and held Sharpe's father and mother in a hug fixed. Sharpe, 29, competed again in Beijing 2022 and this time was joined by brother Darcy, 26, on the Canadian team, who was making his Olympic debut with the snowboard roster. There was no personal... (Author: Gardener)

DarcyCanada's Cassie Sharpe celebrates her silver medal in the women's freestyle ski halfpipe final during the Beijing Winter Olympics on February 18, 2022 in Zhangjiakou, China. When Comox product Cassie Sharpe won the gold medal in the women's freeski halfpipe at the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics, CBC's Perdita Felicien captured video of Canadian fans celebrating at the finish line, capturing Sharpe's father and mother in a hug. Sharpe, 29, competed again in Beijing 2022 and this time was joined by brother Darcy, 26, on the Canadian team, who was making his Olympic debut with the snowboard roster. However, there was no personal cheering section for her there. Tokyo 2020 did the same last summer. Parents Don and Chantal Sharpe were among a crew of 12 friends and family in PyeongChang to cheer for Cassie to victory. That cheering from afar is a story that has played out in one form or another for countless families over the last few Olympics. You can only imagine how large the Sharpe support group would have been, how many would have jumped at the chance to see both Cassie and Darcy at the Olympics, and especially after they "made this dream come true together" to one Borrow line from Don . Cassie won a silver medal this time. Darcy was 12th in Big Air and 23rd in Slopestyle. Darcy Sharpe of Canada reacts after his run in the men's snowboard competition at the Beijing Winter Olympics February 6, 2022. 'We picked up Cassie and Darcy from the airport and it was great to finally hug them and hear their stories. ' Don Sharpe said earlier this week. "The friends and families who gathered in Whistler were so proud of her. We've hung out together and had a blast following their events, but it's definitely not the same as being there in person. Chantal and I and our family would always love to be there for her at the event. That was kind of the next best thing. "They both have such great circles of friends and we've managed to bring a lot of friends and family together. Canadian @CassieSharpe from Comox, BC just won Gold in the Ski Halfpipe! Her whole family is here, including her parents, Chantal and Don Sharpe. Cassie was not part of the first Canadian contingent to show up in Beijing. She came right through the Olympics. She was able to spend time with her brother, including at the graduation ceremonies. The family has long been used to being sportive. Don and Chantal now live in Agassiz and he is in his fifth year at Holiday Trails Resort/Manning Park Resort where he is vice president of resort operations. Previously, he spent 17 years at Mount Washington Alpine Resort, located 37 kilometers northwest of Comox on Vancouver Island. These Sharpe children: Siblings Darcy, Cassie and older brother Doug Sharpe (left to right) in undated child's photo. Both Darcy and Cassie were Canadian Olympians at the 2022 Beijing Winter Games. Darcy wasn't in elementary school when Don started there, and he regularly took Darcy to work and sent him skiing as a de facto daycare. Cassie and her older brother, Doug, who is now 30, regularly spent their weekends there while Don worked. The family tells stories about how they pack sandwiches in their bags so they can ski all day. And they're synonymous enough with Mount Washington that the resort was named after Cassie — Cassie's Gold — after her success in PyeongChang. "I have great memories of those times," Don said. Well THIS is a dynamic duo 🤩Siblings, Cassie and Darcy Sharpe went to the closing ceremony together, representing the 🍁— Team Canada (@TeamCanada) February 20, 2022 Don says all three of his kids have tried "every sport imaginable" except Cassie and especially Darcy kept coming back to focus on skiing and snowboarding. He says there was no sibling rivalry. They worked together. “They've been to a lot of events together over the last few years and are very supportive of each other. They're always out there cheering for each other.” Cassie tore her knee at the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado in January 2021. Shortly thereafter, Chantal drove to Banff to pick her up following surgery to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament. A few months earlier, Chantal did the same for Darcy, who also suffered a cruciate ligament rupture. "You've both been through a lot lately," Don said. The things they do are pretty crazy. "They both had the same knee surgery just over a year ago so just the fact that they made it to the Olympics was epic." More News, Less Ads, Faster Loads: Get unlimited Ad-Lite access to The Vancouver Sun, The Province, National Post and 13 other Canadian news sites for just $14/month or $140/year. Sign up now through The Vancouver Sun or The Province.


Devin Booker thrives as "Point Book" in the Suns' first game without Chris Paul

Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker looked as good as ever in his role as "Point Book," leading the offense in a win over the Thunder. (Author: Gardener)

Devin BookerThe thing that gets on most people's minds about Phoenix Suns shooting guard Devin Booker is how much he's grown as a player during those tumultuous, losing years early in his career. Along with Booker, who in his third season saw every type of defense a team could throw at him, he also spent some time managing the show. For stretches of a season under Igor Kokoskov when the Suns didn't really have a point guard, Booker had to be that guy, and he was occasionally the actual main initiator alongside Ricky Rubio the following year as well. That kind of know-how doesn't just go away, and with Chris Paul out for the foreseeable future, Booker used it for an electric return from the dead for Point Book in Phoenix's 124-104 win over the Oklahoma City Thunder. "Helped a lot," Booker said of his early experience as a floor general. When they went out the ball often found my hands and I had to make a lot of plays and see different defenses and just play through mistakes and learn. Booker had 25 points, five rebounds, 12 assists and six steals on 9-of-16 shooting. And the funny thing is, if Booker's teammates had been firing more shots, he would have easily topped his previous peak in assists of 14. He was also great on defense, where it went beyond mere steals, and he put in the work needed on that end. "I thought Devin managed the game well," Williams said. “You look at his assist numbers, he went off the ball and found guys at the right time. … I thought his steal-out defense was phenomenal.” Booker played at a great pace in the first half and diagnosed what the Oklahoma City (18-41) defense would throw at him with Cam Johnson starting in place of Paul. The answer was bodies, and more so, bodies in the paint to cut off space for both Booker and Deandre Ayton in the main action of the Suns' offense: ball sieves and dives by Ayton. This allowed Booker to fairly methodically read kickouts to shooters or perimeter passes even a second or two before his teammate had enough room to attack the dribble. That's the central thesis to Williams' constant point about how Booker always does his thing in the flow of the Suns offensive. He's the best at turning gears for 0.5 situations, the DNA of the offensive philosophy that wants ball carriers to make the decision to dribble, pass or shoot in half a second or less. "He read the pick and roll coverage well," Williams said of Booker. “He got off the ball and fit in the shot pocket. That's something I learned around Chris. If you can put that pass in the shot pocket, the shooters can get their shots out quicker, but it also means you know where the shots are coming from and you know where the covers are.” Again, it's about the process to start, so sometimes Booker isn't the one who gets the support, even though he set everything in motion. Mikal Bridges, Jae Crowder and Johnson all had at least 17 points and four assists. Bridges shot 10 of 21 for 21 points and four steals, the most shots he's made in a game this year. ... We were getting shot after shot in the first half, we missed a ton," Williams said of how the Thunder grabbed the paint. Phoenix locked the Thunder in the first half and managed 18 points from OKC's 14 turnovers over 12 steals. However, the Suns shot 2 of 17 from 3-point range. That's where the 0.5 mentality, and Booker spearheading it, can only go so far. Oklahoma City ended that half on a 17-5 run and was just five behind, and thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander cooked in the third quarter to keep the game close. However, the quality of the looks the Suns (49-10) continued to produce began to decline. Phoenix shot 11-to-17 on three balls in the last two quarters, including a 4-of-5 mark and 17 total points for Johnson. As Bookers Plus-Minus indicates, it looks like we're going back to the bad ol' days of the Suns being on life support when Booker needs a breather. That was the case on his final break in the fourth quarter when the Thunder went on a 7-1 run in the first 69 seconds he was seated. But as Booker looked to check in, guard Landry Shamet scored five points and Johnson produced an and-one for a whopping eight points to put the Suns at seven when Booker came back with 6:44 to go. With five minutes left and Phoenix holding a five-point lead, the Suns were in full swing as usual. Aaron Holiday found Bridges for a layin, Booker hit back-to-back buckets and then assisted a Crowder 3 before receiving a hockey assist on a Johnson 3. Williams went with him via Elfrid Payton for the backup point guard minutes and while the mechanics off offense's output was a little unpredictable without Booker from a guy who's more of a combo guard, Holiday fits right in as a .5 player . He was 5-of-5 for 12 points with five assists. "I just thought we'd be better served when he comes off the bench and he's Aaron," Williams said of the decision to go into the point book on the starting lineup rather than going on vacation. "I think he's trying to figure out when to pass and what to do on the second side when our big ones dive, that kind of thing. I think he's going to get more and more comfortable.” Ayton's team high-five turnovers were a byproduct of those bounce passes, which he sometimes struggles with, and pulling the ball away. He added six points, eight rebounds, two steals and a block over 30 minutes. Booker played 38 minutes in the first game of a back-to-back, putting the ball up on almost every possession. If he wasn't, it was because Crowder or Johnson passed the ball to Booker once it went through its off-ball movement, which the Suns often used to set it up with Paul up front. Holiday was Williams' first sub each half, a segment where Holiday is likely to go more offensive as he becomes more comfortable. Cam Payne's eventual return from a right wrist sprain is on the starting lineup, but even then, Booker will still be a bit of a point book, having barely done it with Paul. "He's well-conditioned, he's got a lot of energy," Williams said of Booker. Gilgeous-Alexander finished the race with 32 points. Phoenix started catching him more in the second half with some success, challenging the Thunder's marksmen to beat them.


Elon Musk and Tesla have their sights set on a new industry

The quirky CEO who once revolutionized the auto and aerospace industries is no longer hiding his ambitions for a lucrative new industry. (Author: Gardener)

Elon MuskHigh-end electric vehicle maker Tesla and its charismatic CEO Elon Musk have undoubtedly transformed the automotive industry. What about Jeep, the quintessential SUV brand, a safari fan favorite, which is set to launch its first all-electric model soon. Musk's success and ability to put Tesla at the center of automotive conversations has also enabled the emergence of new players such as Rivian and Lucid. Having become the richest man in the world after Tesla, in which he holds a 21% stake, went public, Musk is also one of those who restarted the conquest of space with SpaceX. Of course, with autonomous cars, there are broken promises or even an inability to meet deadlines or meet product launch schedules. Musk is now showing his ambitions in the video game industry. Musk now wants to expand the number of games compatible with Tesla cars. The billionaire wants to include more than 50,000 video games available on the popular Stream platform in the Tesla infotainment system. The announcement, as is often the case with the Musk method, came during an exchange on social media Twitter with users who challenged him to Cyberpunk 2077, a game previously featured on the infotainment system for the Model S Plaid. "New Model S/X version of Cyberpunk when?" asked a user. Musk replied, "We're working through the general case of getting Steam games to run on a Tesla versus specific titles. Musk's announcement suggests Tesla wasn't demotivated by the opening of an investigation by regulator National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in December. Reports surfaced that drivers could play video games on the car's touchscreen while in motion. The investigation followed a New York Times investigation into Tesla's video game capabilities, which highlighted the so-called "passenger game" option. The report stated that an update to Tesla's software package added at least three games that drivers could access while driving could access - and that Tesla signals in a warning that appears before play that it is aware of this and that "playing while the car is in motion is for passengers only." The outlet reports that a button asks Whether the player is a passenger, but a driver can also play by simply touching it, transforming their cars into living rooms on wheels where passengers can be entertained by watching streaming movies and TV shows, even playing their favorite video games, or simply do something other than driving once they have activated the autonomous driving system. Accessing the Steam library through Tesla Arcade, the video game section of the Tesla infotainment system, is a big step towards that goal. Ultimately, Tesla's goal would likely be to monetize access to these types of services. But it makes sense to wonder how Tesla will manage to technically integrate super-advanced games from Stream. The new versions of the Model S and Model X step onto a new computing platform capable of delivering a comparable experience with processing power of up to 10 teraflops (a measure of the speed of a processor or one of a processor's arithmetic processing units). that of the latest consoles, game type PlayStation 5 or Microsoft Xbox Series X, according to The Verge. Tesla cars already feature high-end graphics cards in the media control units and in the electronic control units, the company said in a November update. Since the introduction of video games in Arcade in 2019, the system currently offers around 20 games. Stream is both an online content sales platform, a personalized games library accessible via the Internet, and a community platform. Thus, it is possible to buy a very large number of products, especially video games, on this platform. This is not a purchase of the physical product (box and CD) but the computer version so you can download the game straight to your computer once the transaction is complete. Steam is well known for being the platform that offers one of the largest selections of video games in the world. Whether you are looking for the immersion of role-playing games, the realism of simulation games, strategy games, or the unexpected of adventure games, all types of video game entertainment are offered on the platform for all types of audiences.


Purdue, Kentucky, Auburn fall as Big Ten, SEC races heat up

Here are the winners and losers from a busy final Saturday in college basketball (Author: Gardener)

KentuckyFebruary 26, 2022; East Lansing, Michigan, United States; Purdue Boilermakers center Zach Edey (15) puts a jump shot in the paint against the Michigan State Spartans in the second half at the Jack Breslin Student Events Center. March is still a few days away, but the madness came early on College Basketball Saturday, when three teams in the top 6 of the AP Top 25 poll lost thrilling games that will impact the conference's title races. No. 4 Purdue fell first, but No. 6 Kentucky and No. 3 Auburn soon followed in an afternoon that showed how fluid NCAA tournament seeding scenarios remain with just over two weeks left until selection Sunday. The Boilermakers' 68-65 loss at Michigan State knocked them out of a tie for first place in the Big Ten as Wisconsin seized sole possession of the top spot with a win over Rutgers. There was turmoil in the SEC as well, with No. 18 Arkansas maintaining its winning streak with a 75-73 win over No. 6 Kentucky. It marks 13 wins in the last 14 games for the Razorbacks, who are now just one game behind first place in the conference after No. 17 Tennessee's 67-62 win over Auburn. The Tigers have now lost three of their last six and are clinging to a one-game lead over Arkansas, Kentucky and Tennessee as they enter the final week of the SEC regular season. Auburn can still win the conference outright by beating Mississippi State and South Carolina next week. As the regular season nears its home stretch and conference tournaments draw closer, the stakes are high across the country. With the loss of Purdue, No. 13 Wisconsin only had to beat Rutgers to claim solo possession of first place in the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knights had defeated Illinois, Ohio State and Michigan State in their last three home games before Saturday's showdown. Rutgers rebounded from an 11-point deficit early in the second half to briefly take a late lead. It's been a revolving door at the top of the Big Ten this season, and Wisconsin hosts none other than Purdue on Tuesday. Is Bud Walton Arena the toughest place to play in the country? The Hogs have beaten Auburn, Tennessee and Kentucky in their last three home games and are now in contention for the SEC title with those three. Arkansas was fortunate to only play Auburn and Kentucky once in the regular season, playing both at home. But planning for luck aside, it's clear the Razorbacks will make their move and be a threat again in the NCAA tournament after making the Elite Eight last season. It was looking like a great bet until Kentucky's TyTy Washington took a three-point shot to make it 75-73. TCU, a predicted No. 10 seed in CBS Sports Bracketology pundit Jerry Palm's bracket but on the bladder, notched up a huge 69-66 win at home against No. 9 Texas Tech, which for its big chances was only the job could do. It's a significant one for the Horned Frogs with a grueling late game that could have gotten ugly, but the win over the Red Raiders - led by Mike Miles Jr.'s 26 points - might just be the win that unofficially puts them in Kansas ( twice) and West Virginia on deck to wrap up the regular season certainly looks less daunting and less punchy with this win. Michigan State was on a three-game losing streak and had lost five of its last six as it prepares to host Purdue No. 4 on Saturday. The Spartans were on a worrying tailspin from the Big Ten title fight, highlighted by an 86-60 loss in Iowa on Tuesday. But Saturday was a different story when the Spartans forced 17 turnovers, including 10 in the second half when MSU coach Tom Izzo beat former Indiana coach Bob Knight for most wins among Big Ten coaches (662) at the The Spartans' 68-65 win after that tied a must-see clutch 3-pointer from Tyson Walker. One of WAC's worst teams defeated WAC's best team in a stunning game on Saturday as Chicago State -- 6:22 over the weekend and on a nine-game losing streak -- beat New Mexico State 61-59. On January 11, West Virginia was 13-2 overall, 2-1 in the Big 12 game and, by all appearances, on course for another NCAA tournament appearance under the awesome coaching of Bob Huggins. The Mountaineers have lost 13 of their last 14 games since then, and Saturday was another one-possession loss - their second this week - in an 82-81 home loss to Texas. "We got up at 10 a.m. and then we did some stupid things," Huggins said after the game. Without the services of star Johnny Juzang, UCLA's No. 12 destroyed Pac-12 foe Oregon State 94-55 in their biggest win of the season. The Bruins - who lost to Oregon earlier in the week - were favored by just 12.5 points but went out on 13-of-20 from 3-point range and 34-of-58 to bounce emphatically in the win column . Miami entered Saturday as the predicted No. 11 in the NCAA tournament, according to Palm's Bracketology, and appeared to be on course for a nice win over Virginia Tech when disaster struck. The error resulted in a 3-pointer from Virginia Tech's Darius Maddox that led the Hokies to a 71-70 win. It's the first Quad 1 win of the season for the Hokies, who have won eight of their last nine to keep their hopes of being at large from fading completely. No. 19 Murray State needed just one more win to end an 18-0 run through the Ohio Valley Conference. But the Racers were 12 points behind Southeast Missouri State with six minutes to go and were in danger of adding an ugly Quad-4 loss to an otherwise great resume. Murray State closed on a 20-6 run to end its regular season 28-2. The résumé of the racers is strong enough that even if they don't win the OVC tournament, they should do the big dance. Florida state guard Matthew Cleveland buried a deep 3-pointer on the buzzer to lead the Seminoles to a 64-63 victory over Virginia. The result should end any remaining hope of a general NCAA tournament bid for the Cavaliers, who are now 17-12 (11-8 ACC). It's been a rough year for FSU, who have lost eight of their last nine by the time they came into play. No. 17 Tennessee has now defeated three teams in the top 6 of the AP Top 25 rankings after recovering from an 11-point deficit and beating No. 3 Auburn 67-62. With victories over Arizona and Kentucky as well, the Volunteers have a clean record with no losses outside of Quad 1. With the win, the Vols also stayed in the mix for a share of the SEC title. If Arkansas can keep winning, it wouldn't be a shock to see each of the SEC's top four teams finish 4th or better in the NCAA tournament. Xavier lost his fourth straight game, losing at home to Seton Hall 82-66. The Musketeers (17-11, 7-10 Big East) entered Palms Bracketology as the predicted No. 9 but may want to stop sliding soon.