The Rundown for February 15, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 27,639,630 and the nation’s death toll stands at 485,332, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Health officials are urging Americans to continue wearing masks and practicing social-distancing amid the dropping number of new coronavirus cases and deaths. During the week ending Saturday, the 7-day moving average of daily confirmed cases fell below 100,000 after peaking at 250,000 in early January. It marked the first time since October that the moving average was below 100,000.

BIDEN SEEKS STRICTER GUN LAWS… President Joe Biden called on Congress to pass stricter gun laws yesterday on the third anniversary of the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Biden asked Congress to pass laws requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers. The push for tighter gun legislation gained support three years ago yesterday, when 17 people who were fatally shot after a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

LAWMAKERS SUPPORT CAPITOL-ATTACK COMMISSION… Lawmakers from both parties have joined to support the formation of a “9/11-style” independent commission that would investigate the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. During an appearance on ABC News’ “This Week,” Republican Senator Bill Cassidy of Louisiana, along with Delaware Democratic Senator Chris Coons and Pennsylvania Democratic congresswoman Madeliene Dean, said they would support a full investigation into the potential coordination that led to Trump supporters taking over the Capitol as Congress was working to certify the results of the 2020 presidential election. Earlier this month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi suggested a 9/11-style commission while calling for measures to increase security for lawmakers.

ROGER STONE’S OATH KEEPER GUARDS ATTACKED CAPITOL… The New York Times reported yesterday that video evidence shows that six members of the Oath Keepers militia who guarded longtime Trump associate Roger Stone on January 5 and January 6 later stormed the Capitol. Video shows the six taunting officers outside the Capitol and captures them inside the building during the insurrection. Stone has claimed that he played no role in the riots and didn’t see any illegal behavior by Oath Keepers. Two of the Oath Keepers already arrested are facing conspiracy charges. They include Army veteran Jessica Watkins, who’s accused of organizing a “quick reaction force” to provide guns.

CHILLY NATION… At least 168 million people were under winter weather alerts last night as large swaths of the nation were struck by a major blast of Arctic chill. As many as 400 record cold temperatures are possible nationwide through the middle of the week. With temperatures across Texas plummeting to record lows, President Joe Biden approved Governor Greg Abbott’s emergency declaration for every county in the state. Snow is expected from Texas to Maine while harsh winter conditions continue in the Northwest. Ice storms pose a threat in the South and Northeast.

ENTERTAINMENT
MORGAN WALLEN REMAINS ATOP ALBUM CHART
… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 150,000 copies to top the Billboard 200 album chart for a fifth straight week. The Weeknd’s new release, “The Highlights,” opened in second place after selling 89,000 units. Foo Fighters’ new album, “Medicine at Midnight,” debuted in third place on sales of 70,000 copies. Pooh Shiesty’s “Shiesty Season” debuted at No. 4 with 62,000 units sold. Lil Durk’s “The Voice” sold 49,000 copies to cap the top five.

NICKI MINAJ’S FATHER DIES FROM INJURIES… Authorities in New York have confirmed that the father of rapper Nicki Minaj has died from injuries he suffered after being struck by a hit-and-run driver. Nassau County police say 64-year-old Robert Maraj was walking along a road in Mineola on Long Island at 6:15 p.m. Friday when he was hit by a car that kept going. Maraj was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead Saturday.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

WASHINGTON 104 – Boston 91… Bradley Beal pumped in a game-high 35 points and the Wizards cruised past the Celtics. Russell Westbrook racked up 13 points and 11 assists and to go with his nine rebounds.

Minnesota 116 – TORONTO 112… All five starters scored in double figures and the Timberwolves held off the Raptors to snap a four-game skid. Karl-Anthony Towns had 20 points and 11 boards. Malik Beasley also dropped in 20 points.

San Antonio 122 – CHARLOTTE 110… The Spurs came up big in the fourth quarter to top the Hornets in a back-and-forth contest. Dejounte Murray scored 26 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Derrick White added 25 points.

DETROIT 123 – New Orleans 112… The Pistons overcame a slow start to get past the Pelicans. Svi Mykhailiuk came off the bench to score 21 points and lead a balanced scoring attack. Mason Plumlee had 17 points, 10 boards and 10 assists in his first career triple-double.

Portland 121 – DALLAS 118… The Trail Blazers withstood a fourth-quarter rally to top the Mavericks. Damian Lillard knocked down a tie-breaking 3-pointer with 32 seconds left and finished with 34 points and 11 assists. Luka Doncic’s 44 points weren’t enough for Dallas.

OKLAHOMA CITY 114 – Milwaukee 109… The Thunder came on strong down the stretch to down the Bucks after blowing an 11-point halftime lead. All five starters scored in double figures, led by Justin Jackson’s 22 points. Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points, 17 boards and 10 assists in the loss.

PHOENIX 109 – Orlando 90… The Suns rolled past the Magic for their sixth straight win. They got 27 points from Devin Booker and 21 from Mikal Bridges. Deandre Ayton pulled down 13 rebounds to go with his 10 points.

DENVER 122 – L.A. Lakers 105… The Nuggets took control with a big second quarter and never let up in topping the Lakers. Jamal Murray led all scorers with 25 points. Nikola Jokic totaled 23 points, 16 rebounds and 10 assists.

Memphis 124 – SACRAMENTO 110… Jonas Valanciunas scored 25 points to lead seven players in double figures and brought down 13 boards as the Grizzlies breezed past the Kings. Dillon Brooks tossed in 22 points.

L.A. CLIPPERS 128 – Cleveland 111… Lou Williams made the most of a rare start for the Clippers, scoring 30 points and dishing off 10 assists in the win over the Cavaliers. Marcus Morris Sr. delivered 23 points off the bench. Serge Ibaka tossed in 21 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Chicago is at Indiana…
Washington hosts Houston…
Atlanta is at New York…
Utah hosts Philadelphia…
Cleveland is at Golden State…
the L.A. Clippers host Miami…
Brooklyn is at Sacramento

NHL SCOREBOARD
PITTSBURGH 6 – Washington 3… Bryan Rust scored two goals and assisted on another as the Penguins doubled up on the Capitals. Jake Guentzel added a goal and two assists.

VEGAS 1 – Colorado 0… Max Pacioretty found the net early in the second period and the Golden Knights hung on to clip the Avalanche. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped all 30 shots.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
St. Louis is at Arizona…
Buffalo hosts the N.Y. Islanders…
Ottawa is at Toronto…
Carolina hosts Columbus…
Florida is at Tampa Bay…
Detroit hosts Chicago…
Nashville is at Dallas…
Edmonton hosts Winnipeg…
Calgary is at Vancouver…
San Jose hosts Anaheim

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 3 Michigan 67, WISCONSIN 59…
DRAKE 52, No. 22 Loyola Chicago 50

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