The Rundown for February 26, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,410,917 and the nation’s death toll stands at 508,114, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The Senate parliamentarian has ruled against Democratic efforts to increase the minimum wage to $15 an hour as part of the Covid relief bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said last night that the provision will remain in the House bill for a vote today.

WARPLANES STRIKE IRAN-BACKED MILITIAS… U.S. warplanes struck a camp in Syria linked to two Iran-backed militias that have claimed responsibility for recent rocket attacks against U.S. forces in Iraqi Kurdistan. The action was taken “at President Biden’s direction,” according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. “The operation sends an unambiguous message; President Biden will act to protect American coalition personnel,” Kirby said.

HOUSE PASSES EQUALITY ACT… The House yesterday passed a bill that would extend protections against discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. The bill, called the Equality Act, or House Resolution 5, was approved 224-206 in a floor vote. It was introduced in the House and Senate last week with the intent to close gaps in current federal civil rights laws to protect the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

HHS NOMINEES CONFIRMATION HEARING… Surgeon general nominee Dr. Vivek Murthy and assistant secretary for health nominee Dr. Rachel Levine were questioned about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the opioid crisis during a joint confirmation hearing yesterday. Appearing before the Senate health, education, labor and pensions committee, they pledged to use their past experience in public health to combat current and future national health crises. Murthy, who previously served as surgeon general under President Barack Obama, said the government must ensure the presence of community health centers that can distribute the vaccines and noted that vaccine hesitancy is a result of structural challenges such as a lack of access to healthcare. Levine, who currently serves as secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Health, said the pandemic has revealed the necessity for health agencies at all levels to work closely together.

TRUMP’S TAXES TURNED OVER… Millions of pages of former President Donald Trump’s tax records and financial statements have been turned over to Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance. The documents were given to the D.A.’s office earlier this week after the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected Trump’s last-ditch effort to keep them private. The documents were subpoenaed as part of a fraud investigation and are not expected to be released to the public.

ENTERTAINMENT
LADY GAGA WANTS HER DOGS BACK
… Lady Gaga is offering a $500,000 reward for the return of her two French bulldogs that were stolen in a violent theft on Wednesday night. A dog walker who was handling the dogs on a street in West Los Angeles was shot and wounded while trying to protect the dogs from the thieves. A third dog ran away and was later recovered by one of Gaga’s bodyguards. Gaga has been in Rome on a film shoot and wasn’t home home at the time.

‘BETTER CALL SAUL’ BEGINS PRODUCTION… “Better Call Saul” has received the go-ahead to begin production of its sixth and final season next month. Pre-production is currently underway, and the crew is being quarantined and tested for the upcoming start. Production on the “Breaking Bad” prequel was originally set for March 2020 but was delayed by the pandemic. There will be 13 episodes in the final season, although no air date has been confirmed. The series is shot in New Mexico.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

PHILADELPHIA 111 – Dallas 97… Joel Embiid scored 23 points to lead a balanced scoring attack and the 76ers cruised past the Mavericks. Ben Simmons and Seth Curry added 15 points apiece.

BROOKLYN 129 – Orlando 92… The Nets routed the Magic for their eighth straight win. Kyrie Irving led the way with 27 points. James Harden tossed in 20 points.

NEW YORK 140 – Sacramento 121… Immanuel Quickley scored 18 of his 25 points in the first half and the Knicks dealt the Kings their ninth straight loss. Julius Randle had 21 points and 14 rebounds.

MEMPHIS 122 – L.A. Clippers 94… The Grizzlies pulled away in the second half to blow out the Clippers. Tyus Jones came off the bench to score 20 points and lead six players in double figures. Jonas Valanciunas had 16 points and 15 boards.

Washington 112 – DENVER 110… Bradley Beal pumped in 33 points and the Wizards held on at the end to top the Nuggets. Rui Hachimura added 20 points. Russell Westbrook racked up 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.

MILWAUKEE 129 – New Orleans 125… The Bucks got 38 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo and 31 from Khris Middleton in outgunning the Pelicans. Antetokounmpo also grabbed 10 boards. Donte DiVincenzo tossed in 24 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Indiana is at Boston…
Toronto hosts Houston…
Sacramento is at Detroit…
Miami hosts Utah…
Phoenix is at Chicago…
Memphis hosts the L.A. Clippers…
Atlanta is at Oklahoma City…
Golden State hosts Charlotte…
Portland is at the L.A. Lakers

NHL SCOREBOARD
N.Y. ISLANDERS 7 – Boston 2… The Islanders scored five unanswered goals in the third period to blow away the Bruins. Anders Lee and Mathew Barzal each had a goal and an assist. Semyon Varlamov made 34 saves at goal.

WASHINGTON 5 – Pittsburgh 2… Tom Wilson’s scored a go-ahead power-play goal at 12:40 of the third period and the Capitals added two more goals to put away the Penguins. T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist. Goalie Vitek Vanecek stopped 26 shots.

TAMPA BAY 3 – Carolina 1… The Lightning skated past the Hurricanes after spotting them an early lead. Yanni Gourde netted a tie-breaking goal in the third period. Goalie Curtis McElhinney made 31 saves and picked up an assist.

FLORIDA 3 – Dallas 2… The Panthers scored three straight goals late in the third period to stun the Stars. Frank Vatrano netted the game-winner with 3:10 remaining. Sergei Bobrovsky made 37 saves at goal.

Chicago 2 – COLUMBUS 0… Patrick Kane and Carl Soderberg scored third-period goals to send the Blackhawks past the Blue Jackets. Goalie Malcolm Subban stopped all 26 shots in the blanking.

OTTAWA 6 – Calgary 1… Colin White netted a pair of goals to lead the Senators in their rout of the Flames. Matt Murray made 29 saves at goal.

New Jersey 4 – BUFFALO 3 (OT)… Pavel Zacha set up two goals and found the net 1:17 into overtime as the Devils outlasted the Sabres. Jasper Bratt had a goal and an assist.

DETROIT 5 – Nashville 2… Sam Gagner’s hat trick carried the Red Wings past the Predators. Luke Glendening had a goal and an assist. Goalie Jonathan Bernier made 37 stops.

WINNIPEG 6 – Montreal 3… The Jets erased an early two-goal deficit to double up on the Canadiens. Kyle Connor found the net twice in the second period. Nate Thompson scored a go-ahead goal in the third.

Edmonton 3 – VANCOUVER 0… Goalie Mike Smith made 32 saves in his second shutout of the season and the Oilers clipped the Canucks. Connor McDavid had a goal and an assist.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Boston is at the N.Y. Rangers…
Minnesota hosts Los Angeles…
Colorado is at Arizona

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
MICHIGAN STATE 71, No. 4 Ohio State 67…
COLORADO 80, No. 19 USC 62

GYMNASTICS NEWS… Former Team USA gymnastics coach John Geddert took his life in Michigan yesterday, just hours after a judge issued a warrant charging him with human trafficking, racketeering and sexual assault. The body of the 63-year-old Geddert was found at a rest area along eastbound Interstate 96 in Clinton County. He formerly owned and coached at a gymnastics club where hundreds of women and girls say convicted sex offender Larry Nassar sexually abused them. Many said Geddert knew of this abuse, as Nassar had regularly treated young athletes in a back room at the club.

The Rundown for February 25, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,334,981 and the nation’s death toll stands at 505,808, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… A Food and Drug Administration review released yesterday found that Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccination is safe and approximately 66 percent effective in preventing moderate to severe COVID-19. It still requires FDA approval to become the third COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. and the first that requires just one dose.

SENATE PANEL SUPPORTS CIA DIRECTOR NOMINEE… Former U.S. ambassador to Russia and Jordan William Burns received bipartisan support as Central Intelligence Agency director during his confirmation hearing yesterday. Burns told the Senate Intelligence Committee that addressing challenges posed by China will be his top priority. The nominee said he would also prioritize technology, people and partnerships. Burns promised to keep politics out of the CIA, deliver honest information and “get to the bottom” of the mysterious illnesses suffered by American diplomats who served in Cuba. Meanwhile, members of the Senate finance committee questioned Department of Health and Human Services director nominee Xavier Becerra about his past stances on Medicare for All and abortion rights.

BIDEN NOMINATES 3 TO USPS BOARD… President Joe Biden yesterday announced three nominees to fill vacancies on the U.S. Postal Service Board of Governors. The nominees are: Ron Stroman, the former deputy postmaster general who resigned under the previous administration; Anton Hajjar, the former general counsel of American Postal Workers Union; and Amber McReynolds, CEO of the National Vote at Home Institute. One more vacancy will remain on the board, which will have jurisdiction over embattled Postmaster General Louis DeJoy. The USPS is facing growing public outcry over delayed mail, including calls for DeJoy’s removal.

BANNON FINANCIAL RECORDS SUBPOENAED… The Manhattan district attorney’s office has subpoenaed financial records from Steve Bannon, who served as chief strategist to former President Donald Trump. The subpoenas are part of an investigation centered on Bannon’s crowd-funded “We Build the Wall” campaign to erect a wall along the border with Mexico. Bannon was pardoned by Trump but he is exposed to state charges in New York and New Jersey.

WATER COMING BACK ON IN TEXAS… The number of Texans who having to boil their drinking water fell to 3 million yesterday as crews scramble to repair homes and businesses damaged by last week’s brutal winter storm. Some 5 million customers were without potable water. 13,000 people are still without any running water, according to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. The commission reported that water-service disruptions affected 14.4 million Texans on Saturday.

ENTERTAINMENT
‘FRASIER’ RETURNING
… A revival of the popular and long-running sitcom “Frasier” is coming to the new streaming service Paramount+. Kelsey Grammer has signed on to reprise the titular role and serve as an executive producer. Grammer’s character appeared not only in his namesake show but also in “Cheers” and “Wings.”

SPRINGSTEEN OFF THE HOOK… A judge dismissed Bruce Springsteen’s DWI and reckless driving charges yesterday after the legendary rocker instead pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of consuming alcohol in a public park. Springsteen was fined $540 and immediately assured the judge that he could afford to pay it. Springsteen was arrested in November after an officer spotted him taking a shot of tequila in New Jersey’s Gateway National Recreation Area before boarding his motorcycle. He admitted to downing two shots with a group of fans.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Golden State 111 – INDIANA 107… The Warriors came on strong down the stretch to get past the Pacers. Stephen Curry led the way with 24 points. Draymond Green grabbed 11 rebounds to go with his 12 points.

ATLANTA 127 – Boston 112… The Hawks built a 23-point halftime lead and coasted past the Celtics. Danilo Gallinari delivered 38 points off the bench and Trae young finished with 33. John Collins had 14 points and 11 boards.

CLEVELAND 112 – Houston 96… The Cavaliers pulled away late to hand the Rockets their ninth straight loss. Jarrett Allen matched a career high with 26 points and pulled down 18 rebounds. Collin Sexton tossed in 23 points.

MIAMI 116 – Toronto 108… The Heat continued their recovery from a poor start by fighting off the Raptors. Jimmy Butler scored a game-high 27 points and dished off 10 assists.

CHICAGO 133 – Minnesota 126 (OT)… Seven players scored in double figures as the Bulls outlasted the Timberwolves for their fifth win in six games. Zach LaVine led all scorers with 35 points. Coby White added 20 points.

NEW ORLEANS 128 – Detroit 118… Zion Williams finished with 32 points in leading the Pelicans past the Pistons. Brandon Ingram added 27 points. Steven Adams had 14 points and 15 boards.

OKLAHOMA CITY 102 – San Antonio 99… Lu Dort’s 3-pointer as time expired sent the Thunder past the Spurs. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander poured in a career-high 42 points.

Charlotte 124 – PHOENIX 121… Malik Monk scored 20 of his 29 points in the second quarter and the Hornets held off the Suns. LaMelo Ball tossed in 20 points.

UTAH 114 – L.A. Lakers 89… Rudy Gobert and Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points apiece to lead a balanced scoring attack and the Jazz rolled past the Lakers. Donovan Mitchell had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Dallas is at Philadelphia…
Brooklyn hosts Orlando…
Sacramento is at New York…
Memphis hosts the L.A. Clippers…
Washington is at Denver…
Milwaukee hosts New Orleans

NHL SCOREBOARD
TAMPA BAY 3 – Carolina 0… Goalie Sergei Vasilevskiy stopped all 25 shots as the Lightning blanked the Hurricanes. Ross Colton provided all the offense Tampa Bay needed with a first-period goal.

Dallas 3 – FLORIDA 0… Anton Khudobin made 43 saves in his second shutout of the season and the Stars skated past the Panthers to end a six-game skid. John Klingberg found the net 53 seconds into the contest.

PHILADELPHIA 4 – N.Y. Rangers 3… The Flyers withstood Chris Kreider’s three goals to edge the Rangers. Shayne Gostisbehere scored a goal and assisted on another. Claude Giroux set up three goals.

TORONTO 2 – Calgary 1 (OT)… William Nylander netted the tying goal with 1:28 left in regulation and added the winning goal at 1:06 of overtime to lead the Maple Leafs past the Flames.

ARIZONA 4 – Anaheim 3 (SO)… The Coyotes came from three goals down in the third period to stun the Ducks. Conor Garland and Christian Dvorak scored in the shootout. Phil Kessel netted the tying goal with 3:21 remaining in regulation.

Minnesota 6 – COLORADO 2… Nico Sturm found the net twice and the Wild cruised past the Avalanche. Nick Foligno, Ryan Hartman and Mats Zuccarello each had a goal and an assist.

Los Angeles 2 – ST. LOUIS 1… Alex Iafallo and Andreas Athanasiou netted second-period goals and the Kings hung on to edge the Blues. Calvin Petersen made 35 stops at goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Boston is at the N.Y. Islanders…
Washington hosts Pittsburgh…
Carolina is at Tampa Bay…
Florida hosts Dallas…
Chicago is at Columbus…
Ottawa hosts Calgary…
New Jersey is at Buffalo…
Detroit hosts Nashville…
Montreal is at Winnipeg…
Vancouver hosts Edmonton

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 20 ARKANSAS 81, No. 6 Alabama 66…
No. 11 Florida State 88, MIAMI 71…
No. 13 CREIGHTON 77, DePaul 53…
North Carolina State 68, No. 15 VIRGINIA 61…
No. 25 Tennessee 70, VANDERBILT 58

The Rundown for February 24, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,259,987 and the nation’s death toll stands at 502,660, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The White House announced yesterday that the number of vaccines shipped out is rising by a million to 14.5 million doses per week. Meanwhile, executives from vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna told Congress they expect to provide the U.S. with 220 million doses by the end of next month.

BIDEN SPEAKS WITH TRUDEAU… In their first bilateral meeting yesterday, President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau discussed a “partnership roadmap” and agreed to work closely together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. Speaking via video conference from the White House, Biden noted that the U.S. has “no closer friend than Canada.” The relationship between the two countries had chilled under the Trump administration and more recently by Biden’s move to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline and Canada’s difficulty in obtaining coronavirus vaccines from plants near the U.S.-Canada border.

TWO MORE BIDEN NOMINEES CONFIRMED… The Senate yesterday approved the return of former Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to the same position in the Biden administration and also confirmed Linda Thomas-Greenfield as ambassador to the United Nations. Department of Interior secretary nominee Deb Haaland and Health and Human Services pick Xavier Becerra were questioned by members of separate committees at confirmation hearings. The Senate Judiciary Committee heard a second day of testimony on Merrick Garland’s nomination for attorney general and is expected to vote next week.

OFFICIALS SAY CAPITOL ATTACK COORDINATED… Security officials told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee yesterday that they believe the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol was a “coordinated attack.” Former U.S. Capitol Police Chief Steven Sund, former Senate Sergeant-at-Arms Michael Stenger and former House Sergeant-at-Arms Paul Irving, as well as Metropolitan Police Department acting chief Robert Contee, agreed with the statement that White supremacist and extremist groups were involved. After hearing Sund testify that the request for National Guard assistance was delayed and cost “critical moments” that left police to fight the insurrection themselves, Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota said it “laid bare the clear need to reform the Capitol Police Board.”

OFFICERS CLEARED IN DANIEL PRUDE’S DEATH… A New York grand jury has voted not to indict any of the seven Rochester police officers involved in the death of 41-year-old Daniel Prude last March. Police responding to the report that Prude was suffering a mental-health crisis arrested him and leaned on his head, back and feet for restraint. Video shows one officer leaning on Prude’s head for more than 2 minutes as Prude stops moving and speaking. Prude died a week later in a hospital of complications from “asphyxia in the setting of physical restraint,” according to an autopsy report. The Monroe County Medical examiner ruled the death a homicide and said Prude’s “excited delirium” and ingestion of low levels of PCP played a factor.

ENTERTAINMENT
GERARD DEPARDIEU FACING CHARGES
… French actor Gerard Depardieu was charged in December with rape and sexual assault after authorities revived a 2018 investigation that was initially dropped, the Paris prosecutor’s office revealed yesterday. Depardieu was reportedly not detained when he was handed the preliminary charges on December 16. French media reports claim the charges relate to allegations made by an actress in her 20s. An initial inquiry against the star was dropped in 2019 because of lack of evidence, but was later revived.

MANDY MOORE A MOM… Singer and actress Mandy Moore has given birth to her first child. She and her husband, musician Taylor Goldsmith, welcomed son August Harrison. The couple married in November 2018 and announced in September that they were expecting a son. Moore currently plays Rebecca Pearson in the NBC romantic family drama “This is Us.”

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

CLEVELAND 112 – Atlanta 111… Lamar Stevens’ dunk off a drive with 4.1 seconds left carried the Cavaliers past the Hawks and ended their 10-game losing streak. Collin Sexton scored a game-high 29 points. Jarrett Allen grabbed 14 rebounds to go with his 13 points.

Detroit 105 – ORLANDO 93… The Pistons topped the Magic to snap their three-game skid. Rookie Saben Lee came off the bench to score 21 points and lead all scorers.

BROOKLYN 127 – Sacramento 118… Bruce Brown scored 13 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter as the Nets dealt the Kings their eighth straight loss. James Harden racked up 29 points, 11 boards and 14 assists.

Golden State 114 – NEW YORK 106… The Warriors took control with a big third quarter and held off the Knicks. Stephen Curry pumped in a game-high 37 points.

Philadelphia 109 – TORONTO 102… The 76ers jumped out to a 19-point lead after the first quarter and held off the Raptors. Tobias Harris scored 23 points to lead six players in double figures. Joel Embiid had 18 points and 12 rebounds.

DALLAS 110 – Boston 107… Luka Doncic’s 3-pointer at the buzzer sent the Mavericks past the Celtics. Doncic finished with 31 points and 10 boards. Jalen Brunson delivered 22 points off the bench.

MILWAUKEE 139 – Minnesota 112… Giannis Antetokounmpo lit it up for 37 points and the Bucks rolled past the Timberwolves. Bryn Forbes added 23 points off the bench. Five other players scored in double figures.

DENVER 111 – Portland 106… Jamal Murray scored 19 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter as the Nuggets got past the Trail Blazers. Nikola Jokic poured in 41 points.

L.A. CLIPPERS 135 – Washington 116… The Clippers ended the Wizards’ five-game winning streak with a blowout win. They got 32 points from Kawhi Leonard and 31 from Paul George.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Golden State is at Indiana…
Atlanta hosts Boston…
Houston is at Cleveland…
Miami hosts Toronto…
Minnesota is at Chicago…
New Orleans hosts Detroit…
San Antonio is at Oklahoma City…
Phoenix hosts Charlotte…
the L.A. Lakers are at Utah

NBA NEWS… The NBA has announced reserves for next month’s All-Star Game in Atlanta. James Harden and Kyrie Irving will join Brooklyn Nets teammate and All-Star captain Kevin Durant at the showcase. Other selections from the Eastern Conference were: guard Jaylen Brown and forward Jayson Tatum from the Boston Celtics; New York Knicks forward Julius Randle; Chicago Bulls guard Zach LaVine; Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons; and Orlando Magic center Nikola Vucevicas. Center Rudy Gobert and guard Donovan Mitchell of the league-leading Utah Jazz were voted in with fellow Western Conference selections: Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard; LA Clippers forward Paul George; Lakers forward Anthony Davis; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul and New Orleans Pelicans forward Zion Williamson.

NHL SCOREBOARD
Buffalo 4 – NEW JERSEY 1… Victor Olofsson’s sixth power-play goal highlighted the Sabres’ win over the Devils. Sam Reinhart assisted on two goals. Linus Ullmark made 41 saves at goal.

Pittsburgh 3 – WASHINGTON 2 (OT)… Kasperi Kapanen’s one-timer 1:43 into overtime lifted the Penguins over the Capitals. Kapanen also assisted on Jake Guentzel’s tying goal in the third period.

Chicago 6 – COLUMBUS 5 (SO)… The Blackhawks outlasted the Blue Jackets after both teams blew two-two leads. Alex DeBrincat netted the lone goal in the shootout. Patrick Kane scored a goal and had three assists.

OTTAWA 5 – Montreal 4 (SO)… Tim Stutzle and Josh Norris scored in the shootout to send the Senators past the Canadiens. Brady Tkachuk tied the game with his second goal midway through the third period.

Nashville 2 – DETROIT 0… Goalie Pekka Rinne made 24 saves and the Predators blanked the Red Wings. Filip Forsberg had a goal and an assist.

Edmonton 4 – VANCOUVER 3… The Oilers erased a 3-0 deficit to upend the Canucks. Tyler Ennis netted the go-ahead goal at 13:25 of the third period. Dominik Kahun found the net twice.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Carolina is at Tampa Bay…
Florida hosts Dallas…
the N.Y. Rangers are at Philadelphia…
Toronto hosts Calgary…
Anaheim is at Arizona…
Colorado hosts Minnesota…
Los Angeles is at St. Louis

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 2 BAYLOR 77, Iowa State 72…
MICHIGAN STATE 81, No. 5 Illinois 72…
KANSAS STATE 62, No. 7 Oklahoma 57…
No. 8 VILLANOVA 81, St. John’s 58…
No. 10 West Virginia 74, TCU 66…
No. 14 TEXAS 75, Kansas 72 (OT)…
Georgia Tech 69, No. 16 VIRGINIA TECH 53…
Mississippi 60, No. 24 MISSOURI 53

TIGER WOODS INJURED IN CRASH… Tiger Woods is reported to be “awake and responsive” following surgery to correct serious leg injuries he suffered in a single-vehicle accident in Los Angeles yesterday morning. Firefighters and paramedics had to extricate the 45-year-old Woods from the vehicle after it rolled several times. The 15-time golf major champion suffered “open fractures affecting the tibia and fibula bones” in his lower right leg and a rod has been inserted. Injuries to his foot and ankle have been stabilized with screws and pins.

The Rundown for February 23, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,188,571 and the nation’s death toll stands at 500,244, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… At a White House ceremony last night, President Joe Biden called for a moment of silence to remember the more than a half-million Americans who have died of coronavirus. He also ordered all flags on federal property to be lowered to half-staff for the next five days.

MERRICK GARLAND CONFIRMATION HEARING… Attorney General nominee Merrick Garland answered wide-ranging questions yesterday on the first day of his Senate confirmation hearings. The former federal prosecutor told the Senate judiciary committee that overseeing the prosecution of those responsible for the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol will be his initial priority. He also also said the Justice Department could be open to new policies on federal-level gun control reforms. Garland pledged that his Justice Department will take seriously racial and social inequality.

SUPREME COURT CLEARS RELEASE OF TRUMP TAXES… The Supreme Court yesterday dealt former President Donald Trump a blow by declining to block New York prosecutors from obtaining eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance had subpoenaed the documents in August 2019 as part of an ongoing investigation into possible tax, insurance and bank fraud. Trump and the Trump Organization have denied any wrongdoing.

EL CHAPO’S WIFE ARRESTED IN U.S… Federal agents yesterday arrested the wife of imprisoned Mexican drug kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman at Dulles International Airport outside Washington, D.C. A single-count criminal complaint charges Emma Coronel Aispuro with conspiracy to distribute cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana in the U.S. The Justice Department also accused her of helping her husband escape from a Mexican prison in 2015 and participating in the planning of a second prison escape before Guzman was extradited to the U.S.

MARIJUANA LEGAL IN NEW JERSEY… New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy yesterday signed three bills that legalize up to six ounces of recreational marijuana in the state. His signature comes after voters legalized marijuana in November after three years of legislative, financial and legal battles. New Jersey still needs to license new dispensaries to meet the needs for the state’s 100,000 medical marijuana patients.

ENTERTAINMENT
OBAMA, SPRINGSTEEN PAIR ON PODCAST
… Former President Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen are pairing up on a new eight-episode Spotify podcast. “Renegades: Born in the USA” features Obama and Springsteen sitting down to discuss race, fatherhood, marriage and the future of the U.S. Obama and his wife Michelle Obama announced in 2019 that their production company, Higher Ground, would partner with Spotify to produce exclusive podcasts.

DAFT PUNK IS DONE… The French electronic music duo Daft Punk announced yesterday that it is breaking up after 28 years. French musicians Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo and Thomas Bangalter were known for wearing elaborate helmets, assuming robot personas and despising celebrity. The six-time Grammy Award winners composed the score for the 2010 film “Tron: Legacy’ and influenced numerous musicians with their music and mythology. Their 2013 single, “Get Lucky,” featuring vocals by Pharrell Williams, made it to No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. They made No. 1 as part of The Weeknd’s 2016 single, “Starboy,” which they performed on, co-wrote and co-produced.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Chicago 120 – HOUSTON 100… The Bulls pulled away with a big third quarter and handed the Rockets their eighth straight loss. Colby White scored 24 points and brought down 10 rebounds. Zack LaVine added 21 points. Wendell Carter Jr. finished with 18 points and 13 boards.

DALLAS 102 – Memphis 92… The Mavericks built a big lead early and cruised past the Grizzlies. Tim Hardaway Jr. came off the bench to score a game-high 29 points. Luka Doncic dropped in 21 points.

Miami 108 – OKLAHOMA CITY 94… The Heat rallied past the Thunder in the second half. Duncan Robinson made six 3-pointers on his way to 22 points. Kendrick Nunn added 20 points. Bam Adebayo finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds.

PHOENIX 132 – Portland 100… The Suns blew the game open with a dominating third quarter on their way past the Trail Blazers. Devin Booker scored a game-high 34 points.

UTAH 132 – Charlotte 110… The Jazz used a 26-2 fourth-quarter run to blow away the Hornets. Utah made a team-record 28 3-pointers, including 19 off the bench. Donovan Mitchell was 8-of-17 from beyond the arc and finished with 23 points to lead seven players in double figures. Joe Ingles and Georges Niang added 21 points apiece. Jordan Clarkson tossed in 20 points.

Washington 127 – L.A. LAKERS 124… The Wizards came from 14 points down at the break to outlast the Lakers for their fifth straight win. Bradley Beal led all scorers with 33 points. Russell Westbrook had 32 points, 14 boards and nine assists.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Atlanta is at Cleveland…
Orlando hosts Detroit…
Sacramento is at Brooklyn…
New York hosts Golden State…
Philadelphia is at Toronto…
Dallas hosts Boston…
Minnesota is at Milwaukee…
Denver hosts Portland…
Washington is at the L.A. Clippers

NHL SCOREBOARD
Tampa Bay 4 – CAROLINA 2… Ondrej Palat netted a tie-breaking goal in the third quarter to help push the Lightning past the Hurricanes. Viktor Hedman had goal and an assist.

Calgary 3 – TORONTO 0… Goalie David Rittich stopped all 34 shots as the Flames blanked the Maple Leafs. Sean Monahan and Matthew Tkachuk both had a goal and an assist.

FLORIDA 3 – Dallas 1… The Panthers skated past the Stars after spotting them an early lead. Keith Yandle scored a go-ahead goal late in the second period.

N.Y. ISLANDERS 3 – Buffalo 2… Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored a power-play goal to break a tie with less than five minutes remaining and the Islanders hung on to edge the Sabres. The victory was New York’s sixth in a row over Buffalo.

Los Angeles 3 – ST. LOUIS 0… Goalie Jonathan Quick made 30 saves in his 54th career shutout and the Kings breezed past the Blues. Dustin Brown netted a pair of goals.

Vegas 3 – COLORADO 0… Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 34 shots at goal as the Golden Knights whitewashed the Avalanche. Vegas did all its scoring in the second period with Alex Tuch finding the net twice.

ARIZONA 4 – Anaheim 3… The Coyotes erased a three-goal deficit in upending the Ducks. Christian Dvorack’s second goal of the game came early in the third period and proved decisive. Jakob Chychrun scored a goal and assisted on another.

Minnesota 6 – SAN JOSE 2… Six different players found the net as the Wild tamed the Sharks. Mats Zuccarello had a goal and three assists. Victor Rask netted a goal and set up two others.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Buffalo is at New Jersey…
Washington hosts Pittsburgh…
Chicago is at Columbus…
Ottawa hosts Montreal…
Nashville is at Detroit…
Vancouver hosts Edmonton

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
OKLAHOMA STATE 74, No. 18 Texas Tech 69…
No. 19 USC 72, Oregon 58

MLB NEWS… Seattle Mariners president and CEO Kevin Mather resigned yesterday amid backlash he received for comments he made to a Rotary Club earlier this month. Mather targeted several of the team’s players in comments that were shockingly candid and drew condemnation from Major League Baseball. His resignation is effective immediately, with Mariners chairman and managing partner John Stanton taking on the roles of CEO and team president on an interim basis.

The Rundown for February 22, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 28,113,699 and the nation’s death toll stands at 498,883, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s top medical adviser, said during an appearance on CNN yesterday that he expects “a significant degree of normality” by the end of the year” but acknowledges that it’s “possible” that people will be wearing masks into 2022. Fauci, said the possibility of future mask mandates relied on future levels of community spread.

BIDEN WON’T LET IRAN GET NUKES… National security adviser Jake Sullivan says President Joe Biden remains determined to keep Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons even thought it has not yet responded to an offer to negotiate. Appearing on CBS News’ “State of the Union,” Sullivan said that Biden believes diplomacy is the best method to ensure that Iran continues to comply with international nuclear weapons restrictions. On Thursday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. would be willing to negotiate plans for returning to compliance with the Iran nuclear deal.

FAA ORDERS 777 INSPECTIONS… The Federal Aviation Administration is ordering inspections on all Boeing 777s with Pratt & Whitney PW4000 engines. Yesterday’s announcement followed a viral video shot by a passenger aboard one of the planes captured one of the engines in flames shortly after takeoff from Denver. The failing engine dropped debris on the Denver suburb of Broomfield Saturday before the plane safely returned to Denver International Airport.

TEXAS DEALS WITH SKYROCKETING ELECTRIC BILLS… Texas Governor Greg Abbott said yesterday that the state Legislature will prioritize dealing with residents’ skyrocketing electric bills. Amid the recent record-low temperatures, Texans who did not have a fixed electric plan had their bills spike due to market costs. Some of the bills totaled into the tens of thousands. Abbott and the Legislature held an emergency meeting Saturday to find ways to “shield” residents from the inflated costs. As of yesterday afternoon, there were about 30,000 Texans who were still without power.

STORM MOVES IN ON NORTHWEST… An extreme weather system known as a “pineapple express” was expected to arrive in the northwest last night. The system, which originated near Hawaii, will dump rain and snow over much of the upper west coast through tomorrow, according to the National Weather Service. It is also expected to produce high tides, high winds and an increased chance of river flooding.

ENTERTAINMENT
MORGAN WALLEN REMAINS ATOP ALBUM CHART
… Morgan Wallen’s “Dangerous: The Double Album” sold 93,000 albums to remain atop the Billboard 200 album chart for the sixth straight week. The Weeknd’s “After Hours” surged into second place after selling 42,000 units. Lil Durk’s “The Voice” jumped into third place on sales of 40,000 copies. Pop Smoke’s “Shoot for the Stars Aim for the Moon” finished fourth with 38,000 units sold. Pooh Shiesty’s “Shiesty Season” sold 37,000 copies to cap the top five.

JAMES FRANCO SETTLES LAWSUIT… James Franco has reportedly settled a 2019 lawsuit filed by two of his former students at an acting school he founded. The students, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, accused Franco of intimidating his students into sexual situations. They have agreed to drop their individual claims and their sexual exploitation claims are also being dismissed without prejudice, meaning they can be re-filed. Additionally, fraud allegations brought forward in the suit will be subject to limited release.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

NEW ORLEANS 120 – Boston 115 (OT)… The Pelicans came from 24 points down to outlast the Celtics. Brandon Ingram made a go-ahead 3-pointer with 33.9 seconds left in overtime and finished with a game-high 33 points. Zion Williamson had 28 points and 10 rebounds.

Oklahoma City 117 – CLEVELAND 101… Six players scored in double figures as the Thunder dealt the Cavaliers their 10th straight loss. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the way with 31 points.

ORLANDO 105 – Detroit 96… Nikola Vucevic pumped in 37 points and grabbed 12 boards to lead the Magic past the Pistons. Evan Fournier tossed in 29 points.

TORONTO 110 – Philadelphia 103… The Raptors came up big in the fourth quarter to fight off the 76ers for their fourth straight win. Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet scored 23 points apiece.

NEW YORK 103 – Minnesota 99… The Knicks recovered to top the Timberwolves after blowing a 21-point lead. Julius Randle scored 25 points and brought down 14 rebounds. After the game, Minnesota announced it had fired Ryan Saunders, who went 43-95 in two-plus seasons as head coach. The Timberwolves were reportedly looking to replace Saunders with Toronto Raptors assistant Chris Finch.

ATLANTA 123 – Denver 115… Trae Young scored 35 points and dished off 15 assists in leading the Hawks past the Nuggets. Clint Capela added 22 points and 10 boards.

Brooklyn 112 – L.A. CLIPPERS 108… The Nets held off the Clippers to win their sixth in a row. James Harden scored a game-high 37 points and collected 11 rebounds. Kyrie Irving tossed in 28 points.

MILWAUKEE 128 – Sacramento 115… The Bucks got 38 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo and 32 from Khris Middleton in cruising past the Kings. The loss was Sacramento’s seventh straight.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Chicago is at Houston…
Dallas hosts Memphis…
Miami is at Oklahoma City…
Phoenix hosts Portland…
Charlotte is at Utah…
the L.A. Lakers host Washington

NHL SCOREBOARD
WASHINGTON 4 – New Jersey 3… The Capitals skated past the Devils after spotting them a two-goal lead. T.J. Oshie netted a pair of power-play goals. Alex Ovechkin’s power-play goal with 3:04 remaining proved to be the difference.

OTTAWA 3 – Montreal 2 (OT)… Brady Tkachuk found the net at 3:30 of overtime to send the Senators past the Canadiens. Drake Batherson and Josh Norris scored in regulation.

BOSTON 7 – Philadelphia 3… The Bruins scored four unanswered goals in the second period to put away the Flyers in a contest played outdoors at Lake Tahoe. David Pasternak scored a goal in each period.

Winnipeg 4 – VANCOUVER 3 (OT)… Pierre-Luc Dubois’ second goal of the game came 27 seconds into overtime and lifted the Jets over the Canucks. Dubois also assisted on Neal Pionk’s second-period goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Tampa Bay is at Carolina…
Toronto hosts Calgary…
Dallas is at Florida…
the N.Y. Islanders host Buffalo…
Los Angeles is at St. Louis…
Colorado hosts Vegas…
Anaheim is at Arizona…
San Jose hosts Minnesota

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 3 Michigan 92, No. 4 OHIO STATE 87…
No. 6 HOUSTON 90, Cincinnati 52…
No. 11 IOWA 74, Penn State 68…
No. 21 Wisconsin 68, NORTHWESTERN 51

The Rundown for February 19, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 27,823,163 and the nation’s death toll stands at 490,394, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… Pfizer and BioNTech said yesterday that the first U.S. participants have been given shots in a large-scale clinical trial to assess the safety and efficacy of their COVID-19 vaccine for pregnant women. The companies are aiming to enroll some 4,000 pregnant women in the trial around the world… President Joe Biden plans to announce today that the U.S. will contribute $2 billion to a U.N.-backed program seeking to distribute COVID-19 vaccine doses to people in the poorest countries in the world.

TEXAS SHIVVERS… More than 300,000 customers remained without electricity in Texas last night following the record-breaking winter storm that froze the nation’s midsection earlier this week. About 7 million people in Texas remain under advisories to boil their water after blackouts shut down treatment facilities. President Joe Biden ordered the Federal Emergency Management Agency to send generators and other supplies to the state while declaring a state of emergency in both Texas and Oklahoma. Meanwhile, Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz sparked outrage by attempting to escape the hardship by flying to Cancun. Amidst the fierce criticism, Cruz cut short the scheduled three-day trip and returned home.

SUSPENSIONS, INVESTIGATIONS AT CAPITOL POLICE… Capitol Police disclosed yesterday that six officers have been suspended with pay and 29 others are under investigation following the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was one of five people who died in the attack. Another officer, Howard Liebengood, committed suicide days later. Steven Sund resigned as chief of Capitol Police the day after the riot amid criticism of his department’s lack of preparedness.

SOUTH CAROLINA GOVERNOR SIGNS ABORTION LAW… South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster yesterday signed into effect a law that bans most abortions in his state. The law requires healthcare providers to check if the fetus has a heartbeat and only allow the mother to receive an abortion if the pregnancy is dangerous or the result of rape or incest. Healthcare professionals who violate the law could be charged with a felony and fined or jailed. Planned Parenthood has filed suit to block the law from taking effect.

PERSEVERANCE LANDS ON MARS… The NASA rover Perseverance successfully touched down on Mars yesterday after executing a risky and dramatic landing. The robotic explorer is on a two-year mission to search for traces of ancient microbial life on the planet and collect what could be the first rocky samples sent back to Earth. Perseverance is NASA’s fifth rover to land on the red planet. Earlier this month, spacecraft launched by the United Arab Emirates and China orbited Mars.

ENTERTAINMENT
PRINCE MARKIE DEE DIES
… Prince Markie Dee, who rose to fame in the pioneering hip-hop group the Fat Boys, died of an undisclosed cause yesterday. He was 52.The Fat Boys launched their career in 1983 by winning a New York City talent contest and their fourth album, “Crushin’,” was a platinum-seller. It included “Wipeout,” a cover performed with the Beach Boys that reached Number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Fat Boys also gained popularity with their breakout comedy film ‘Disorderlies” in the summer of 1987.

DOLLY PARTON DOESN’T WANT STATUE… Country star, actress and philanthropist Dolly Parton has asked Tennessee state lawmakers not to erect a statue of her on capitol grounds in Nashville. Last month, lawmakers introduced a bill to erect the state and a committee was prepared to discuss funding. “Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time,” Parton explained in her request to remove the bill from consideration. Parton added that she would like the statue to happen one day, “several years from now or perhaps after I’m gone,” if people still think she deserves it.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Toronto 110 – MILWAUKEE 96… The Raptors got 29 points from Norman Powell and 27 from Pascal Siakam in handing the Bucks their fifth straight loss. Toronto led by as many as 23 points in the contest.

Brooklyn 109 – L.A. LAKERS 98… The Nets knocked down 18 3-pointers in cruising past the Lakers for their fifth-straight win. James Harden scored 23 points and dished off 11 assists. Joe Harris was 6-of-7 from beyond the arc and finished with 21 points.

Miami 118 – SACRAMENTO 110… Tyler Herro delivered 27 points off the bench to lead a balanced scoring attack and the Heat cruised past the Kings. Kelly Olynyk added 22 points and Duncan Robinson tossed in 20. Jimmy Butler racked up 13 points, 10 rebounds and 13 assists in his third straight triple-double.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Golden State is at Orlando…
Cleveland hosts Denver…
Chicago is at Philadelphia…
Boston hosts Atlanta…
Denver is at Memphis…
Milwaukee hosts Oklahoma City…
Phoenix is at New Orleans…
Minnesota hosts Toronto…
Utah is at the L.A. Clippers

NBA ALL-STAR GAME SET… Forwards LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kevin Durant of the Brooklyn Nets have been named NBA All-Star Game captains after getting the most votes of any player in either conference. The two will pick their respective teams from the remaining 22 All-Stars on March 4. After getting a go-ahead from the NBA earlier yesterday, the game is set for March 7 in Atlanta.

NHL SCOREBOARD
New Jersey 3 – BOSTON 2… Kyle Palmieri scored back-to-back goals, the second one shorthanded as the Devils did all their scoring in the second period and held off the Bruins.

N.Y. Rangers 3 – PHILADELPHIA 2 (SO)… Kaapo Kakko and Artemi Panarin scored in the shootout to send the Rangers past the Flyers. The victory ended New York’s four-game skid.

PITTSBURGH 4 – N.Y. Islanders 1… Jason Zucker scored a goal and assisted on another to lead the Penguins past the Islanders. Goalie Tristan Jarry made 31 saves.

COLUMBUS 3 – Nashville 0… Goalie Elvis Merzlikins stopped all 32 shots in his first start since coming off injured reserve and the Blue Jackets blanked the Predators. Cam Atkinson provided all the offense Columbus needed in the first period when he netted his seventh goal.

TORONTO 7 – Ottawa 3… Auston Matthews scored his league-leading 15th and 16th goals and had two assists as the Maple Leafs thrashed the Senators. Mitchell Marner added a goal and three assists.

WASHINGTON 3 – Buffalo 1… The Capitals got goals from Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson and Conor Sheary in skating past the Sabres. Vitek Vanecek stopped 22 shots at goal.

ST. LOUIS 3 – San Jose 2 (OT)… David Perron’s power-play goal at 4 minutes of overtime lifted the Blues over the Sharks. Brayden Schenn netted a tying goal with 40 seconds left in regulation.

Los Angeles 3 – ARIZONA 2 (SO)… The Kings recovered to outlast the Coyotes after blowing a two-goal second-period lead. Gabriel Vilardi netted the decisive goal in the shootout.

Minnesota 3 – ANAHEIM 1… Ryan Hartman and Kevin Fiala scored 38 seconds apart in the first period and the Wild hung on to down the Ducks. Anaheim managed just 17 shots.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Chicago is at Carolina…
Detroit hosts Florida…
Edmonton is at Calgary…
Toronto hosts Winnipeg

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 1 GONZAGA 87, Saint Mary’s 65…
No. 3 MICHIGAN 71, Rutgers 64…
No. 4 Ohio State 92, PENN STATE 82…
WICHITA STATE 68, No. 6 Houston 63…
No. 11 Iowa 77, No. 21 WISCONSIN 62…
No. 25 San Diego State 67, FRESNO STATE 53

The Rundown for February 18, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 27,823,163 and the nation’s death toll stands at 490,394, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… The nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, said yesterday that mounting evidence suggests the Covid-19 vaccine can slow the spread of the coronavirus. Whether vaccination can prevent transmission of the virus is “the looming question,” Fauci said during a White House coronavirus response team briefing.

TEXANS STRUGGLE DURING FREEZE… Troubles are mounting in Texas, where 2.7 million households are without power and residents in more than 100 counties have been told to boil their drinking water. Strained by an Arctic vortex that brought record low temperatures, the state has lost 40 percent of its generating capacity, with natural gas wells and pipelines, along with wind turbines, frozen shut. As many as two dozens deaths have been blamed on the cold snap and freezing temperatures are expected through the weekend.

CUOMO PANDEMIC HANDLING UNDER INVESTIGATION… New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic is the target of an investigation launched by the U.S. Attorney’s office in the Eastern District of New York. Investigators are reportedly looking into the conduct of top officials who coordinated the state’s response to the pandemic and a July 2020 order directing nursing homes to accept coronavirus-positive residents being discharged from hospitals. A former Cuomo staffer admitted last week that the governor’s administration had hidden the true death toll from the public for fear of political backlash. The state’s attorney general has also investigated and released a damning report of the governor’s handling of the crisis.

WOMEN GENERALS’ PROMOTIONS DELAYED… The New York Times yesterday quoted former Defense Secretary Mark Esper in reporting that the Pentagon delayed the promotion of two female generals out of fear that Trump would derail their nominations. Air Force General Jacqueline Van Ovost and Army Lieutenant General Laura Richardson of the Army are set to be nominated for promotions by the Biden administration in the coming weeks. Esper insisted he recommended the two generals not to be politically correct but because they were the best qualified.

8 WOUNDED IN PHILADELPHIA SHOOTING… Gunfire at a public transit station in Philadelphia yesterday afternoon left eight people wounded. The victims ranged in age from 17 to 71. One of them is reported to be in critical condition. Police say one person is in custody and two weapons have been recovered.

ENTERTAINMENT
RUSH LIMBAUGH DEAD AT 70
… Bombastic radio talk-show host Rush Limbaugh died yesterday following a battle with lung cancer. He was 70. Limbaugh pioneered the American media phenomenon of conservative talk radio and used his platform to air commentary that was sometimes highly incendiary. He called former President Barack Obama a “house negro” and poked fun at Kurt Cobain’s suicide, former Chief Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s cancer and actor Michael J. Fox’s Parkinson’s disease. A racist comment he made in 2003 prompted his firing after a short stint at ESPN. His radio show was heard on more than 600 U.S. stations with an audience that reached 27 million people weekly.

JESSE PLEMONS JOINS CAST OF SCORSESE FILM… Jesse Plemons has signed on to join Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro in the cast of the upcoming Apple thriller “Killers of the Flower Moon.” Plemons will reunite with director Martin Scorsese, with whom he worked on 2019’s “The Irishman.” The film is set in 1920s Oklahoma and centers on the serial murders of Osage Nation members in a string of brutal crimes that came to be known as the Reign of Terror. Plemons will play Tom White, the lead FBI agent investigating the murders.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

ORLANDO 107 – New York 89… The Magic shook off a slow start to roll past the Knicks. Terrence Ross came off the bench to score a game-high 30 points. Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and as many rebounds.

Atlanta 122 – BOSTON 114… Trae Young poured in 40 points and the Hawks topped the Celtics to end a four-game skid. Clint Capela powered his way to 24 points and 13 boards. John Collins tossed in 20 points.

PHILADELPHIA 118 – Houston 113… The 76ers built a 26-point halftime lead and held on to down the Rockets. Joel Embiid scored 31 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out nine assists. Tobias Harris had 24 points and 15 boards. Seth Curry dropped in 25 points.

WASHINGTON 130 – Denver 128… Bradley Beal made two free throws with a tenth of a second remaining and finished with 25 points in the Wizards’ come-from-behind win over the Nuggets. Davis Bertans led Washington with 35 points off the bench. Russell Westbrook totaled 12 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists.

Indiana 134 – MINNESOTA 128 (OT)… Domantas Sabonis racked up 36 points, 17 boards and 10 assists in leading the Pacers to an overtime win over the Timberwolves. Malcolm Brogdon added 32 points.

CHICAGO 105 – Detroit 102… The Bulls overcame an 18-point halftime deficit to upend the Pistons. Zach LaVine led the way with 37 points. Jerami Grant’s 43 points weren’t enough for Detroit.

Portland 126 – NEW ORLEANS 124… Damian Lillard knocked down a go-ahead 3-pointer with 16.5 seconds remaining to cap a 43-point, 16-assist effort that carried the Trail Blazers past the Pelicans. Gary Trent Jr. added 23 points.

MEMPHIS 122 – Oklahoma City 113… The Grizzlies were too much in the fourth quarter and took down the Thunder. Grayson Allen and Jonas Valanciunas scored 22 points apiece. Ja Morant had 15 points, 11 rebounds and 12 assists.

GOLDEN STATE 120 – Miami 109 (OT)… The Warriors outlasted the Heat after trailing by 15 points at halftime. Kent Bazemore delivered a game-high 26 points off the bench. Stephen Curry had 25 points and 11 assists. Andrew Wiggins and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 23 points apiece.

Utah 114 – L.A. CLIPPERS 96… The Jazz blew past the short-handed Clippers in the second half to win their ninth in a row. Donovan Mitchell pumped in 24 points to lead all scorers. Rudy Gobert had 23 points and 20 boards.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Toronto is at Milwaukee…
the L.A. Lakers host Brooklyn…
Miami is at Sacramento

NHL SCOREBOARD
Florida 4 – CAROLINA 3 (OT)… Jonathan Huberdeau’s second goal of the game came with 2:31 remaining and gave the Panthers a come-from-behind win over the Hurricanes. Huberdeau also had an assist. Goalie Chris Driedger made 32 saves.

TORONTO 2 – Ottawa 1… Alexander Kerfoot netted a tie-breaking goal midway through the third period and the Maple Leafs made it stand in edging the Senators. Frederick Andersen made 27 stops at goal.

Chicago 2 – DETROIT 0… Goalie Kevin Lankinen stopped all 29 shots in his first career shutout and the Blackhawks clipped the Red Wings. Chicago got goals from Philipp Kurashev and Alex DeBrincat.

Vancouver 5 – CALGARY 1… Five different players found the net as the Canucks skated past the Flames. Brock Boeser scored a goal and assisted on two others. Goalie Braden Holtby made 35 saves.

EDMONTON 3 – Winnipeg 2… Leon Draisaitl found the net twice to lead the Oilers past the Jets. Connor McDavid and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins both had two assists.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
New Jersey is at Boston…
Philadelphia hosts the N.Y. Rangers…
the N.Y. Islanders are at Pittsburgh…
Columbus hosts Nashville…
Ottawa is at Toronto…
Washington hosts Buffalo…
San Jose is at St. Louis…
Arizona hosts Los Angeles…
Minnesota is at Anaheim

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 17 USC 89, Arizona State 71…
No. 19 TENNESSEE 93, South Carolina 73…
No. 22 LOYOLA CHICAGO 54, Valparaiso 52…
No. 23 Kansas 59, KANSAS STATE 41

TENNIS NEWS… Naomi Osaka beat Serena Williams 6-3, 6-4 yesterday to secure a spot in the Australian Open women’s final. Osaka will take on Jennifer Brady, who defeated Karolína Muchová in three sets to reach her first grand slam final. In the men’s semifinals, World No. 1 Novak Djokovic goes up against Russian qualifier Aslan Karatsev and Daniil Medvedev battles Stefanos Tsitsipas.

The Rundown for February 17, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 27,756,623 and the nation’s death toll stands at 488,081, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… During a CNN Town Hall last night, President Joe Biden said he expects the COVID-19 vaccine to be widely available in the U.S. by the end of July and cautiously suggested the nation may return to “normal” by Christmas. Biden said one of the most significant obstacles he faced in taking on the pandemic response from the previous administration has been a lack of vaccinators to administer the shots. Earlier yesterday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said The Biden administration will raise the vaccine supply to states from 11 million to 13.5 million doses per week.

AT LEAST 21 DEAD IN WINTER STORMS… At least 21 people have died in the polar vortex that brought brutal chill to the nation’s midsection this week. Most of the deaths were reported in Texas, where millions of people were left without power. Officials say at least seven of the deaths are suspected to be from gas or carbon monoxide poisoning as people struggle to keep warm in cars parked in enclosed spaces.

SENATE SCHEDULES CAPITOL-ATTACK HEARING… The Senate yesterday scheduled its first hearing to examine the security failures that led to last month’s breach of the U.S. Capitol building by a mob of Trump supporters. The joint hearing held between the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and the Rules and Administration Committee is scheduled for Tuesday morning. Robert Contee, chief of the Metropolitan Police Department; Michael Stenger, former Senate Sergeant at Arms; Paul Irving, former House Sergeant at Arms; and Steven Sund, former chief of U.S. Capitol Police, have been requested to testify.

BIDEN ADMINISTRATION RESPONDS TO IRAQ ROCKET ATTACK… The Biden administration say it has “the right to respond at the time and place of our choosing” in response to Monday night’s rocket attack at Erbil Air Base in Iraq. The attack left five Americans injured and a foreign contractor dead. An obscure Iraqi militia group that calls itself the Guardians of the Blood Brigade claimed credit for the attack.

DOMINION TO SUE MIKE LINDELL… Dominion Voting Systems has announced plans to sue pillow salesman Mike Lindell over his baseless claims about nonexistent election-fraud conspiracy. Lindell, a staunch supporter of former President Trump, emerged as a leader in Republican efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election and cited Dominion in his claims. The company has already filed $1.3 billion suits against Trump attorneys Sidney Powell and Rudy Giuliani.

ENTERTAINMENT
AARON ECKHART JOINS ‘THE FIRST LADY’
… Aaron Eckhart has signed on to the cast of the Showtime series “The First Lady.” The 52-year-old actor will play president Gerald Ford in the series, which tells White House stories from the perspective of the wives of presidents. The first season will focus on Ford, Obama and Eleanor Roosevelt. Michelle Pfeiffer will play former first lady Betty Ford. Viola Davis has been cast as former first lady Michelle Obama.

CLINTONS AT CICELY TYSON SERVICE… Former President Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were among those who attended a private memorial service for legendary actress Cicely Tyson in Harlem yesterday. The nearly three-hour service was held a day after fans of the pioneering icon lined up to pay their respects at a public viewing. Gospel singer BeBe Winans provided a highlight at the service with a performance of sang “Stand” — which Tyson had requested prior to her death on January 28 at age 96.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

BOSTON 112 – Denver 99… Jaylen Brown scored 27 points and Jayson Tatum added 21 as the Celtics topped the Nuggets. Tristan Thompson grabbed 12 rebounds to go with his nine points.

New Orleans 144 – MEMPHIS 113… Zion Williamson pumped in 31 points and the Pelicans rolled past the Grizzlies. Josh Hart delivered 27 points off the bench. Brandon Ingram dropped in 22 points.

Toronto 124 – MILWAUKEE 113… The Raptors pulled away in the second half to top the Bucks despite losing Kyle Lowry to an ankle injury. Fred VanVleet scored 33 points to lead six players in double figures. Pascal Siakam had 23 points and 13 rebounds.

L.A. Lakers 112 – MINNESOTA 104… LeBron James scored 30 points and grabbed 13 boards to lead the Lakers past the Timberwolves. Dennis Schroder added 24 points.

Portland 115 – Oklahoma City 104… The Trail Blazers built a 14-point halftime lead and coasted past the Thunder. Damian Lillard led the way with 31 points and 1 assists. Enes Kanter brought down 21 rebounds to go with his eight points.

Brooklyn 128 – PHOENIX 124… The Nets erased a 24-point third-quarter deficit to sink the Suns. James Harden scored a game-high 38 points. Joe Harris tossed in 22 points.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
New York is at Orlando…
Boston hosts Atlanta…
Houston is at Philadelphia…
Washington hosts Denver…
Indiana is at Minnesota…
Chicago hosts Detroit…
Portland is at New Orleans…
Memphis hosts Oklahoma City…
Miami is at Golden State…
the L.A. Clippers host Utah

NHL SCOREBOARD
N.Y. Islanders 3 – BUFFALO 0… Anders Lee found the net twice in the Islanders’ blanking of the Sabres. Goalie Ilya Sorokin stopped all 20 shots in his first NHL win.

Washington 3 – PITTSBURGH 1… Conor Sheary and Jakub Vrana scored second period goals and the Capitals cruised past the Penguins. Richard Panik set up two goals.

New Jersey 5 – N.Y. RANGERS 2… The Devils scored three unanswered goals in the third period to put away the Rangers. Nicholas Merkley had a goal and an assist. Mackenzie Blackwood made 37 saves at goal.

Colorado 3 – VEGAS 2… Nazem Kadri scored with 41 seconds remaining to send the Avalanche past the Golden Knights. Colorado also got goals from Nathan MacKinnon and Brandon Saad.

LOS ANGELES 4 – Minnesota 0… Goalie Jonathan Quick made 28 saves in shutting out the Wild. Jaret Anderson-Dolan had a goal and an assist for the Kings.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
Florida is at Carolina…
Toronto hosts Ottawa…
Chicago is at Detroit…
Calgary hosts Vancouver…
Winnipeg is at Edmonton

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 5 ILLINOIS 73, Northwestern 66…
GEORGIA 80, No. 20 Missouri 70…
No. 24 ARKANSAS 75, Florida 64

The Rundown for February 16, 2021

CORONAVIRUS UPDATES… The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. has reached 27,692,948 and the nation’s death toll stands at 486,321, according to figures released last night by Johns Hopkins University… New York Governor Andrew Cuomo yesterday acknowledged that his office was wrong to have withheld data on COVID-19 nursing home deaths. Cuomo said at a press conference that “lessons were learned’ in not releasing the data and that things “should have been done differently.” More than 15,000 people have died in New York state’s nursing homes and long term care facilities from COVID-19, but as recently as last month, the state reported only 8,500 deaths… The nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci was awarded the Israeli-based Dan David Prize. Fauci was honored with the $1 million prize for “defending science” and advocating for COVID-19 vaccines.

BIDEN REOPENS ACA SIGNUP… Joe Biden yesterday reopened the enrollment window for signing up for health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Uninsured Americans will be able to obtain Obamacare coverage through May 15. The original enrollment period began last November and ended on December 15. The action is expected to bring relief especially to Americans who lost health insurance due to the pandemic.

PELOSI PLANS CAPITOL COMMISSION… House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday announced plans “to establish an outside, independent 9/11-type Commission” to investigate last month’s attack on the U.S. Capitol. In a letter to fellow House Democrats, Pelosi said the commission will “investigate and report on the facts and causes relating to the January 6, 2021, domestic terrorist attack upon the United States Capitol Complex… and relating to the interference with the peaceful transfer of power.” Support for a commission to scrutinize the attack has gained bipartisan support from lawmakers despite former President Trump’s acquittal in his Senate impeachment trial on one count of inciting an insurrection.

SENATOR BURR CENSURED BY NORTH CAROLINA GOP… The North Carolina Republican Party yesterday voted to censure Senator Richard Burr for voting to convict former President Trump at last week’s impeachment trial. In response, Burr said the move marked a “truly sad day” for the state GOP and showed that it “has chosen loyalty to one man over the core principles of the Republican Party and the founders of our great nation.” Burr stressed that his vote was based on evidence that Trump incited the deadly Capitol attack.

BRUTAL CHILL… Two people are dead and more than 2.6 million customers were without power in Texas yesterday amid the brutal cold and record snowfall that has struck the nation’s midsection. Abilene and San Angelo were hit by more than 10 inches of snow and joined several other Teas cities in setting daily snowfall records. Several inches of snow were also expected in Oklahoma and Arkansas, with some places more than six inches by tomorrow night.

ENTERTAINMENT
SIMONE ASHLEY LANDS ‘BRIDGERTON’ ROLE
… Simone Ashley has signed on as the female lead opposite Jonathan Bailey in Season 2 of the Netflix period drama series “Bridgerton.” The second season will chronicle the pursuit of a suitable marriage for the eldest Bridgerton sibling, Anthony, played by Bailey. Ashley will play Anthony’s romantic interest, Kate Sharma. The series is based on Julia Quinn’s romance novels. Filming is scheduled for spring in London.

OPRAH LANDS ROYAL INTERVIEW… Oprah Winfrey has landed a sit-down interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for a CBS primetime special that will air on March 7. Winfrey will speak with Markle first about becoming a member of the royal family, marriage, motherhood, philanthropic work and being under the public eye. Harry will then join the conversation to discuss their move to the U.S. and the future of their family.

SPORTS
NBA SCOREBOARD

Chicago 120 – INDIANA 112 (OT)… The Bulls outlasted the Pacers after letting a fourth-quarter lead slip away. Zach LaVine scored a game-high 30 points.

WASHINGTON 131 – Houston 119… Bradley Beal pumped in 37 points and the Wizards outgunned the Rockets. Russell Westbrook scored 16 points and dished off 15 assists.

NEW YORK 123 – Atlanta 112… Julius Randle knocked down seven 3-pointers on his way to 44 points in leading the Knicks past the Hawks. RJ Barrett added 21 points.

UTAH 134 – Philadelphia 123… The Jazz ran past the 76ers in a matchup of conference leaders. Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to score 40 points. Donovan Mitchell dropped in 24 points and Joe Ingles tossed in 20.

GOLDEN STATE 129 – Cleveland 98… Stephen Curry scored 36 points before sitting out the fourth quarter and the Warriors dealt the Cavaliers their eighth straight loss. Five other players scored in double figures for Golden State.

L.A. CLIPPERS 125 – Miami 118… Marcus Morris made six 3-pointers and finished with a game-high 32 points as the Clippers downed the Heat for their fourth straight win. Ivica Zubac delivered 22 points off the bench.

Brooklyn 136 – SACRAMENTO 125… The Nets fought off the Kings despite playing without the injured Kevin Durant. Kyrie Irving led the way with 40 points. James Harden racked up 29 points, 13 rebounds and 14 assists.

TODAY’S NBA SCHEDULE
Denver is at Boston…
Memphis hosts New Orleans…
Toronto is at Milwaukee…
Minnesota hosts the L.A. Lakers…
Portland is at Oklahoma City…
Phoenix hosts Brooklyn

NHL SCOREBOARD
ARIZONA 1 – St. Louis 0… Clayton Keller scored a second-period goal and the Coyotes made it stand in blanking the Blues. Goalie Darcy Kuemper stopped all shots.

N.Y. Islanders 3 – BUFFALO 1… Anders Lee and Jean-Gabriel netted first-period goals and the Islanders cruised past the Sabres to run their points streak to seven games. Josh Bailey had two assists.

Ottawa 6 – TORONTO 5 (OT)… The Senators came from four goals down late in the second period to upend the Maple Leafs. Evgenii Dadonov netted a tying goal with 2:01 left in regulation and added the game-winner at 2:19 of overtime. Connor Brown had a goal and an assist.

CAROLINA 7 – Columbus 3… The Hurricanes skated past the Blue Jackets after spotting them an early two-goal lead. Brock McGinn scored two goals and assisted on two others. Teuvo Teravainen had a goal and three assists.

Florida 6 – TAMPA BAY 4… Six different players found the net as the Panthers topped the Lightning. Aleksander Barkov had a goal and an assist.

Chicago 3 – DETROIT 2 (OT)… The Blackhawks recovered to outlast the Red Wings after letting a two-goal lead slip away. Dominik Kubalik scored the winning goal at 4:43 of overtime.

Winnipeg 6 – EDMONTON 5… Mark Scheifele scored a goal and had two assists as the Jets held off the Oilers. Kyle Connor and Blake Wheeler both had a goal and an assist.

Calgary 4 – VANCOUVER 3 (OT)… Johnny Gaudreau scored on a power play 23 seconds into overtime to send the Flames past the Canucks. Milan Lucic, Elias Lindholm and Dillon Dube scored in regulation.

SAN JOSE 3 – Anaheim 2… Second-period goals by Kevin Labanc and Logan Couture carried the Sharks past the Ducks. Couture also had an assist. Martin Jones made 26 saves at goal.

TODAY’S NHL SCHEDULE
the N.Y. Islanders are at Buffalo…
Pittsburgh hosts Washington…
New Jersey is at the N.Y. Rangers…
Dallas hosts Nashville…
Colorado is at Vegas…
Los Angeles hosts Minnesota

TOP 25 MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL SCOREBOARD
No. 16 FLORIDA STATE 81, No. 7 Virginia 60

NFL NEWS… Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead yesterday in a Florida hotel room. He was 38. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Jackson’s body was discovered in a hotel and there were no apparent signs of trauma. Jackson played for the San Diego Chargers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers during a 12-year career that ended in 2016.

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