The Rundown for February 1, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 26,185,355 and the nation’s death toll stands at 441,319, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… More than 31 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered as of yesterday, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A total of 49,933,250 doses of the vaccine have been distributed throughout the country. The CDC also warned that a faster-spreading variant of the virus could become the dominant strain in the U.S. by spring… A New York Times analysis has found that cases and positivity rate have trended downward during the three weeks that followed a peak on January 8. Hospitalizations have also gone down from a peak on January 6.

BIDEN TO DISCUS COVID RELIEF WITH GOP SENATORS… A group of 10 Republican senators have accepted President Biden’s invitation to the White House for a discussion about his COVID-19 economic relief package. Biden invited the group shortly after its members proposed an alternative package. The president’s $1.9 trillion plan includes $400 billion to combat COVID-19 and more than $1 trillion to assist families needing direct financial support. The Republicans are proposing a $600 billion plan that calls for $160 billion to use against Covid, direct payments to Americans and an extension of expanded unemployment benefits.

MORE SHAKEUPS IN TRUMP DEFENSE TEAM… Former President Trump has appointed David Schoen and Bruce Castor as his lead attorneys at the upcoming Senate impeachment trial. The announcement came a day after after two other lawyers left the case. A third lawyer, Joshua Howard, also left the defense team. Schoen is a civil and criminal defense lawyer with offices in Alabama and New York. Castor is a former Philadelphia district attorney who declined to prosecute amid sexual-assault allegations in 2005.

CHICAGO PUBLIC SCHOOL BATTLE CONTINUES… Chicago public school students will continue learning remotely while the school district and teachers union clash over school-room safety. Yesterday, Mayor Lori Lightfoot joined Chicago Public Schools CEO Dr. Janice Jackson in demanding that pre-K to eighth grade teachers return to the classroom today. Union leaders say their concerns haven’t been addressed.

STORM BATTERS NORTHEAST… The Northeast is being battered by what the National Weather Service calls a “long duration” major winter storm. As much as 2 feet of snow could fall in New York, Boston and other cities in the region. Heavy snow as also expected in parts of eastern Pennsylvania, northern New Jersey, southern New York and into southern New England.

… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 130,000 copies to remain atop the Billboard 200 album chart for the third straight week. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” finished in a distant second place after selling 45,000 units. Taylor Swift’s “Evermore” jumped into third place with 35,000 copies sold. The Weeknd’s “After Hours” climbed four places to No. 4 on sales of 35,000 units. Lil Durk’s “The Voice” capped the top five with 32,000 copies sold.

ANIMALS GUITARIST DIES… The Animals’ guitarist Hilton Valentine died last week of an undisclosed cause at age 77, family members have confirmed. Valentine formed The Animals in 1963, along with singer Eric Burdon, keys player Alan Price, bassist Chas Chandler and drummer John Steel. The band had a hit the next year with its version of “The House of the Rising Sun.” Valentine performs the song’s iconic opening riff. The Animals were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

L.A. Clippers 129 – NEW YORK 115
… The Clippers pulled away in the second half to down the Knicks for their 10th win in 11 games. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Kawhi Leonard’s 28 points.

DENVER 128 – Utah 117… The Nuggets built a 25-point halftime lead on their way to ending the Jazz’ 11-game winning streak. Nikola Jokic poured in 47 points and brought down 12 rebounds.

Philadelphia 119 – INDIANA 110… The 76ers erased a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit to upend the Pacers. Tobias Harris scored 27 points to lead a balanced scoring attack. All-Star center Joel Embiid sat out with a bad back.

TORONTO 115 – Orlando 102… The Raptors jumped out to an early double-digit lead and coasted past the Magic to snap their three-game skid. Pascal Siakam had 30 points and 10 boards. Kyle Lowrie dished off 15 assists to go with his 12 points.

WASHINGTON 149 – Brooklyn 146… The Wizards shot down the Nets with a stunning finish. Bradley Beal and Russell Westbrook hit back-to-back 3-pointers three seconds apart in the final seconds. Garrison Mathews’ steal of an inbounds pass set up Westbrook’s go-ahead trey with 4.9 seconds left. Beal added two free throws at the end and finished with 37 points. Westbrook had game-highs with 41 points and 10 rebounds.

MINNESOTA 109 – Cleveland 104… Anthony Edwards and Malik Beasley scored 23 points apiece as the Timberwolves downed the Cavaliers for their first win in four games.

the L.A. Lakers are at Atlanta…
Miami hosts Charlotte…
Minnesota is at Cleveland…
Chicago hosts New York…
Portland is at Milwaukee…
Oklahoma City hosts Houston…
Phoenix is at Dallas…
San Antonio hosts Memphis…
Detroit is at Denver

New Jersey 5 – BUFFALO 3… Miles Wood and Michael McLeod scored two goals apiece to lead the Devils past the Sabres. Wood also had an assist.

CAROLINA 4 – Dallas 3 (S0)… Dougie Hamilton and Vincent Trocheck scored in the tiebreaker to push the Hurricanes past the Stars. Nino Niederreiter’s goal tied the game with 2:35 left in regulation.

Florida 3 – DETROIT 2… Patric Hornqvist and Aaron Ekblad scored on second-period power plays to give the Panthers the lead for good in their win over the Red Wings. Goalie Chris Driedger made 32 saves.

PHILADELPHIA 4 – N.Y. Islanders 3 (OT)… The Flyers recovered to outlast the Islanders after blowing a two-goal third-period lead. Kevin Hayes found the net at 4:33 of overtime. Joel Farabee scored all three Philadelphia goals in regulation.

CHICAGO 3 – Columbus 1… Pius Suter scored a tie-breaking goal in the third period as the Blackhawks fought off the Blue Jackets. Patrick Kane and Philipp Kurashev each had a goal and an assist.

MINNESOTA 4 – Colorado 3 (OT)… Jonas Brodin’s goal 18 seconds into overtime lifted the Wild over the Avalanche. Victor Rask lit the lamp twice in regulation.

St. Louis 4 – ANAHEIM 1… The Blues got a pair of goals from Brayden Schenn in skating past the Ducks. Ville Husso made 25 stops at goal.

EDMONTON 8 – Ottawa 5… The Oilers opened with a five-goal first period but needed three second-period goals to put away the Senators. James Neal netted two goals. Connor McDavid had a goal and four assists.

Pittsburgh is at the N.Y. Rangers…
Washington hosts Boston…
Nashville is at Tampa Bay…
Montreal hosts Vancouver…
Calgary is at Winnipeg

No. 6 HOUSTON 70, SMU 48…
No. 13 OHIO STATE 79, Michigan State 62

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